A UNIFIED, GLOBAL WOMEN’S MINISTRY EMPOWERING ONE ANOTHER TO FOLLOW CHRIST AND TO LOVE IN ABUNDANCE; CULTIVATING WOMEN WARRIORS IN THEIR PURPOSE BY HIS PROMISE AND POWER.
Visit our website at www.womenworldleaders.com to find out how you can get involved!
Enjoy our daily devotionals shared by Kimberly on our Facebook page, website, and email list!
Our Global Office Team is willing to speak at women’s events or conferences.
Empowerment – Kimberly Hobbs
Teaching – Julie Jenkins
We are a team unified in His love and will intentionally pray about any presented opportunities to speak at your next event.
Join us at Keiser University in West Palm Beach, FL for our seasonal events for a time of praise & worship, prayer, guest speakers, and gathering.
Listen to a weekly trio of podcasts!
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!
Letter from the Founder
SWEET WOMAN OF GOD,
As we burst forth into the blossoms of springtime, let us look to the scripture.
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.(Isaiah 43:19 NLT)
Spring is the most beautiful time to witness many new things with our eyes. We see baby animals being born and fresh grass growing as the earth’s blanket becomes brilliantly green. New leaves budding on the trees bring the anticipated feast for the eyes that follow right after the burst. The succulent blossoms of flowers exploding with vibrant colors and the fresh scent of raindrops in the air showcase that God is doing something new as He orchestrates the world’s resurgence. And in the same way that everything begins to grow in the springtime, God desires that we grow in our relationship with Him.
Blooming as a believer is all about our hearts and a reconciled relationship between us and God. This is all possible because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We are given new hearts and a fresh, clean start to run after Jesus with all our might. As we jump into the freshness of the blooms of righteousness, we are assured that God will never leave us or forsake us as we follow Him.
We are doing many things in this season in Women World Leaders. Some things may look different than they did in the past years, and it is all because of growth. God is growing, grooming, and fine tuning women and young ladies in this ministry. The older women are teaching and training the younger women, and the young women are jumping in to lead with passion. God is continuously blooming each of us wherever He has planted us in His grace. Each of our buds and blossoms may look different from each other’s, but one thing is for certain, when we are part of God’s family by faith in Christ’s shed blood for the remission of our sin, He positions us to grow. However, it is our choice whether to grow in God’s rich soil or revert to our old lifestyle amid the dead thistles and thorns from years past. My prayer is that you will burst forward with the exuberant joy of new growth in this season of your life, planted in the fertile ground of Christian community.
Letter from the Founder
Behold, as God is doing new things at Women World Leaders. We invite you to partake and join us on this journey of joy, full of service to God, united in serving and empowering others, and being drawn closer in love to Him daily. We invite you to empower others who will be drawn to your side in service as you run after Jesus, providing them the opportunities to serve and grow just as you have received. May each of you understand that you can have a strong voice here about your love for God. You can serve alongside a team of women who will love and support you as you share your love for Jesus and His Word with the world.
May this magazine be a help, a hope, and a safe place for your heart to blossom in Christ. As you read, may your Heavenly Father shower down His overflowing love and reveal unexpected blessings greater than you can begin to imagine.
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.
(1 Corinthians 2:9 NKJV)
Believe that God has planted you right here for a reason. Even if you feel you are not blooming at this moment, God IS working; let me assure you of this fact. If you need a little faith and encouragement to believe He is working in you, Voice of Truth is here with a wealth of fertilizer to help you bloom right where you are. Just pray, read, and be blessed today. “She blooms because of the blood of Jesus, which covers her from every oppression.” I say this every day to myself as assurance in my walk of faith. Give yourself the grace to blossom and grow with us in Women World Leaders as we do something new for His incredible purpose inside our lives.
Exceedingly, Abundantly Beyond, Kimberly HobbsFounder & co-CEO
Carta de Nuestra Fundadora
DULCE MUJER DE DIOS,
A medida que brotamos de las flores de la primavera, miremos las Escrituras.
Porque estoy a punto de hacer algo nuevo. ¡Mira, ya he comenzado! ¿No lo ves?
Haré un camino a través del desierto. Crearé ríos en el páramo seco.
(Isaías 43:19 NTV)
Porque estoy a punto de hacer algo nuevo. ¡Mira, ya he comenzado! ¿No lo ves? Haré un camino a través del desierto. Crearé ríos en el páramo seco. (Isaías 43:19 NTV)
La primavera es la época más hermosa para presenciar con nuestros ojos muchas cosas nuevas. Vemos nacer animales bebés y crecer hierba fresca a medida que el manto de la tierra se vuelve de un verde brillante. Las hojas nuevas que brotan en los árboles traen el festín anticipado para los ojos que siguen justo después del estallido. Los capullos de flores suculentas que explotan con colores vibrantes y el aroma fresco de las gotas de lluvia en el aire muestran que Dios está haciendo algo nuevo mientras orquesta el resurgimiento del mundo. Y así como todo comienza a crecer en la Primavera, Dios desea que crezcamos en nuestra relación con Él.
Florecer como creyente tiene que ver con nuestros corazones y una relación reconciliada entre nosotros y Dios. Todo esto es posible gracias a lo que Jesús hizo por nosotros en la cruz. Se nos dan corazones nuevos y un nuevo y limpio comienzo para correr detrás de Jesús con todas nuestras fuerzas. Al saltar a la frescura de las flores de la justicia, estamos seguros de que Dios nunca nos dejará ni nos abandonará mientras lo seguimos.
Estamos haciendo muchas cosas en esta temporada en Mujeres Líderes Mundiales. Algunas cosas pueden verse diferentes de lo que eran en los últimos años, y todo se debe al crecimiento. Dios está haciendo crecer, preparando y perfeccionando a las mujeres y jovenes en este ministerio. Las mujeres mayores están enseñando y capacitando a las mujeres más jóvenes, y las mujeres jóvenes se están lanzando para liderar con pasión. Dios está continuamente floreciendo a cada una de nosotras dondequiera que Él nos haya plantado en Su gracia. Cada uno de nuestros capullos y flores puede verse diferente de los demás, pero una cosa es segura, cuando somos parte de la familia de Dios por la fe en la sangre derramada de Cristo para la remisión de nuestros pecados, Él nos posiciona para crecer. Sin embargo, es nuestra elección si crecer en la rica tierra de Dios o volver a nuestro antiguo estilo de vidaen medio de los cardos muertos y las espinas de años pasados. Mi oración es que de sobremanera avancen con la alegría exuberante del nuevo crecimiento en esta temporada de sus vida, plantados en la tierra fértil de la comunidad cristiana.
He aquí, como Dios está haciendo cosas nuevas en Mujeres Líderes Mundiales.
Te invitamos a participar y unirte a nosotras en este viaje de alegría, llenó des servicio a Dios, unidas para servir y empoderar a los demás, y acercándonos cada día más a Él en amor. Te invitamos a capacitar a otros que se sentirán atraídos a tu lado en el servicio mientras corres detrás de Jesús, brindándoles las oportunidades para servir y crecer tal como las has recibido. Que cada una de ustedes entienda que puede tener una voz fuerte aquí sobre su amor por Dios. Puedes servir junto a un equipo de mujeres que te amarán y te apoyarán mientras compartes tu amor por Jesús y Su Palabra con el mundo.
Que esta revista sea una ayuda, una esperanza y un lugar seguro para que sus corazónes florezca en Cristo. Mientras lees, que tu Padre Celestial derrame Su amor desbordante y te revele bendiciones inesperadas más grandes de lo que puedes empezar a imaginar.
Cosas que ningún ojo ha visto, ningún oído ha escuchado, ninguna mente humana ha concebido, lo que Dios ha preparado para quienes lo aman.
(1 Corintios 2:9 NVI)
Cree que Dios te ha plantado aquí mismo por una razón. Incluso si sientes que no estás floreciendo en este momento, Dios ESTÁ trabajando; déjame asegurarte de este hecho. Si necesitas un poco de fe y aliento para creer
que Él está obrando en ti, Voice of Truth está aquí con una gran cantidad de fertilizante para ayudarte a florecer justo donde estás. Solo ora, lee y sé bendecida hoy. “Ella florece por la sangre de Jesús, que la cubre de toda opresión.” Me digo esto todos los días como seguridad en mi camino de fe. Date la gracia de florecer y crecer con nosotras en Mujeres Líderes Mundiales mientras hacemos algo nuevo para Su increíble propósito dentro de nuestras vidas.
Extremadamente, Abundantemente Más Allá,Kimberly Hobbs Founder & co-CEO email@example.com
DIANELLI SNAPP (WITH SPANISH VERSION)
Writings from the Global Office
WWL STAFF (WITH SPANISH VERSION)
Powerpoints: God at Work Through Women Leaders Yesterday and Today
Following the Son
Beside Still Waters
Sons of Kings
DR. JIA CONWAY
A Beautiful Mess
Through the Eyes of Merci
Faith and Family
Living a Holyistic Life
Change Your Story with Kirstin Leigh
Chasing Butterflies Journals
A Focus on Him
Through a Mother’s Eyes
Abundance, Hope, and a Future
KELLY WILLIAMS HALE
El Roi... the God Who Sees Me
DR. JIA CONWAY
Red Carpet Ready
Musings on the Book of John
Journey with Jesus: Nuggets from the Gospel of Mark
REV. LISA MORRISON
AH, SPRINGTIME!BY LILLIAN CUCUZZA
It is a time of refreshing, regeneration, and new beginnings! The flowers are blooming, and caterpillars are morphing into butterflies. Butterflies are a great metaphor for transformation, hope, spiritual rebirth, life, and resurrection. The cover photo shows three adult Gulf Fritillary butterflies clinging to a thistle flower for nectar nourishment. The metamorphosis that butterflies go through from birth to the adult stage resembles the life of a Christian.
The life cycle of a butterfly begins with an egg and turns into a larva. It then enters the pupal stage and, eventually, the chrysalis stage. Then, finally, it morphs into and emerges as an adult butterfly.
Like the butterfly, we go through various growth stages in our Christian life. First, we experience spiritual rebirth, and as new babies in our Christian walk, we need nourishment. So we dive into the Word of God (the Bible), whose words are sweeter than honey (Psalm 119:103), and we continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. As we are made new in this spiritual rebirth, we begin sharing the gospel and leading others to a new spiritual birth. And then, the transformation cycle repeats with the new Christian.
Just as butterflies cling to the flower for nectar, we must cling to Jesus, who is the Vine. Jesus exclaims in John 15:5, “I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (NIV) If we are to bear fruit and lead others to Christ, we must stay connected and attached to the source of our nectar, Jesus Christ. He is our great eternal hope who rose from the dead to transform us and give us life everlasting.
Lillian’s passions are nature photography and serving God. She is a best-selling author, award-winning photographer, and a regular contributor to Voice of Truth magazine. Lillian uses her photography and writing talents to glorify and honor God for His beautiful creation. Visit, like, and follow her website www.HisCreationsLLC.com, Facebook and Instagram @HISCreationsLLC, or email her at Lillian.HisCreations@gmail.com.
I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. IF YOU REMAIN IN ME AND I IN YOU, YOU WILL BEAR MUCH FRUIT; APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.(JOHN 15:5 NIV)
Kimberly Ann Hobbs – VOT Founder & WWL co-CEO
Julie T. Jenkins – VOT Lead Editor & WWL co-CEO
Kelly Williams Hale – Graphic Designer
Johana Torres – Spanish Translator
Kelley Rene – Editor
Lisa Morrison – Editor
Kerri Bridges – Editor
Jo Anne McKinney – Proofreader
Shelly Haas – Proofreader
Arlene Salas – Giving Acknowledgments
WWL Ministry Coordinators
Kimberly Ann Hobbs – co-CEO
Julie T. Jenkins – co-CEO
Lisa Hathaway – Business & Finance
Diana Brown – Prayer
Jessica Morneault – Events
Connie Van Horn –Encouragement Ambassador
Kelly Williams Hale – Graphic Arts
Free from Fear, Strong in FaithBY DIANELLI SNAPP
Weread in the Bible that David’s music brought comfort to Saul and liberated him from the terrors that stalked him at night. Saul and I have something in common, as fear taunted me through moments in my childhood. As if mile markers, I always anticipated frightful happenings around each corner. I was watchful over my life, guarding it, worried that something would happen to me. One morning when I was in the seventh grade, I was at my usual spot waiting for the school bus. Across the gravel road, another student stood waiting for the bus. An old town car drove up to the stop sign and stopped. The driver reached across the seat and pushed the door open with the expectation that I get in. I quickly told the young girl who was to ride the school bus with me to run back to her house on the count of three. 1-2-3! We both took off running. I sprinted back to the safety of my porch, quickly entered my house, and looked out the front door through the peephole. Eventually, the car drove off. We returned to the bus stop and made it to school safely.
Running in fear became a common trauma for me. I was drawn to sports as a kid, and I was forever running because I loved it so much. In retrospect, I wonder what I was running from. I do know, however, that I wasn’t fully living in trust and embracing the love that God had for me. It took me going through dark moments as a college student to begin to see glimpses of God’s greater purpose for my life. It appeared as if every relationship ended, every friendship was cut off, and every Everything I
had was stripped away from me. The only choice I had left was to look up—to SURRENDER TO GOD. The mercy and grace poured out upon me at that time required faith to see. Somehow, I knew I could walk confidently along God’s path by grasping faith. Still, there were moments when I walked in great darkness. I was trapped behind the veil of sin and unable to walk in the liberty Christ Jesus had called me to.
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.
(JAMES 4:7 NKJV)
When I was a little girl, I was baptized and claimed my salvation in Christ. And as I grew into a young adult, I knew deep down that God had a specific mission for me—to speak, empower, love, teach, encourage, motivate, and provoke others to a jealous love relationship with the Holy Spirit. In order to not walk in fear guided by my ego, I knew I had to walk in my beloved identity in Christ every single day. I knew I needed a revelation in my mind and a belief in my heart to accomplish this. I had to make sure that the wrong decisions I made in the past did not cause me to question the truth about my beloved identity in Christ. Our worth is found in Christ alone. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NIV)
On my journey, I’ve learned that Christ, through His death, offers us all forgiveness for our sins. But His sacrifice is an invitation that requires a response from each of us. Until we accept that invitation, we will stay bound to the fallen, sinful nature the world imposes upon our lives and the fear that accompanies it.
Christ’s love is unconditional, and He offers it to us freely. Jesus’ sacrifice ensures us the opportunity to live eternally with the Father in Heaven. Our responsibility is to simply turn to God, admit that we have sinned and need His forgiveness, and accept the gift of Jesus’ payment for our sins. Once we do that, God wraps His arms around us and promises to hold onto us forever.
Salvation is free and is available to everyone who reaches for Jesus in repentance.
But living a fruitful life and walking in His freedom requires our ongoing cooperation.
To live the life God has ordained for us, we must choose Him every day and strive to know Him more. We must choose love and integrity, which may require walking the narrow path—making decisions based on God’s wisdom.
To live a fruitful life for Christ, we must live according to His Word. Through reading His instructions given
to us in the Bible, we come to know His character, desire, and love toward us. We begin to understand search of holiness and purity. As we grow, we learn to rebuke sinful thoughts and guard our minds against evil. Through awareness, we begin to see that the Spirit of God is a bumper in our lives, protecting and guiding us and holding us to a remembrance of the standard of God.
If you seek God, He will reveal Himself to you. 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. (Matthew 7:7 NIV)
I can personally attest that God has never neglected me in my Christian journey. He knows the very hairs on my head and values me. (Luke 12:7)
When I stopped running in fear and started running toward Christ, I realized that I am protected by God and surrounded by a Christian family. The
blessings He had waiting on the other side of faith and obedience were beyond my imagination. If you’ve never truly been set free from fear, I invite you to silently pray this prayer: “Father God, Thank you for sending your Son Jesus Christ to the cross to die for my sins. Thank you for your love. I repent of the fear that has had me in chains. I release the fear to you, Father, and as I submit to you, God, the devil must flee. Open my eyes, open my heart, and increase my faith today. I will walk obediently, pursuing your purpose and wisdom for my life. Come, Holy Spirit, baptize me afresh and anew with a fresh baptism to walk by faith and not by sight. I plead the blood of Jesus Christ over my life that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. In Jesus Christ’s name, I pray. AMEN.”
Be confident today, knowing that fear no longer has the power to torment you but that you are truly an overcomer through Jesus Christ. Let the everlasting love of our Father permeate your soul. Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly.
Gracia del Evangelio
Libres de Miedo, Fuertes en la FeBY DIANELLI SNAPP
Leemos en la Biblia que la música de David trajo consuelo a Saúl y lo liberó de los terrores que lo acechaban en la noche. Saul y yo tenemos algo en común, ya que el miedo se burló de mí en momentos de mi infancia. Como si fueran marcadores de millas, siempre anticipé sucesos espantosos a la vuelta de cada esquina. Vigilaba mi vida, la custodiaba, preocupada de que me pasara algo. Una mañana, cuando estaba en séptimo grado, estaba en mi lugar habitual esperando el autobús escolar. Al otro lado del camino de grava, otro estudiante esperaba el autobús. Un viejo automóvil condujo hasta la señal de alto y se detuvo. El conductor se inclinó sobre el asiento y abrió la puerta con la expectativa de que yo entrara. Rápidamente le dije a la joven que iba a viajar conmigo en el autobús escolar que corriera de regreso a su casa a la cuenta de tres. 1-2-3! Ambas salimos corriendo. Corrí de regreso a la seguridad de mi porche, entré rápidamente en mi casa y miré por la puerta principal a través de la mirilla. Finalmente, el coche se alejó.
Regresamos a la parada del autobús y llegamos a la escuela sanos y salvos.
Correr con miedo se convirtió en un trauma común para mí. Me atraían los deportes cuando era niña y siempre corría porque me encantaba. En retrospectiva, me pregunto de qué estaba huyendo. Sin embargo, sí sé que no estaba viviendo plenamente en confianza y abrazando el amor que Dios tenía por mí. Me tomó pasar por momentos oscuros como estudiante universitaria para comenzar a ver destellos del gran propósito de Dios para mi vida. Parecía como si cada vida. Parecía como si cada relación terminara, cada amistad se rompiera y cada dirección que había planeado cambiará. Todo lo que tenía me fue despojado. La única opción que me quedaba era mirar hacia arriba: ENTREGARME A DIOS. La misericordia y la gracia que se derramaron sobre mí en ese momento requerían fe para ver. De alguna manera, sabía que podía caminar con Aún así, hubo
momentos en los que caminé en una gran oscuridad. Estaba atrapada detrás del velo del pecado y no podía caminar en la libertad a la que Cristo Jesús me había llamado.
muerte, nos ofrece a todos el perdón por nuestros pecados. Pero su sacrificio es una invitación que requiere una respuesta de cada uno de nosotros. Hasta que aceptemos esa invitación, permaneceremos atados a la naturaleza caída y pecaminosa que el mundo impone sobre nuestras vidas y el temor que la acompaña.
Cuando era niña, fui bautizada y reclamé mi salvación en Cristo. Y a medida que crecí y me convertí en adulta, supe en el fondo que Dios tenía una misión específica para mí: hablar, empoderar, amar, enseñar, animar, motivar y provocar a otros a una relación de amor celoso con el Espíritu Santo. Para no caminar con miedo guiado por mi ego, sabía que tenía que caminar en mi amada identidad en Cristo todos los días. Sabía que necesitaba una revelación en mi mente y una creencia en mi corazón para lograr esto. Tenía que asegurarme de que las decisiones equivocadas que tomé en el pasado no me hicieran cuestionar la verdad sobre mi amada identidad en Cristo. Nuestro valor se encuentra solo en Cristo. Si Dios está de nuestra parte, ¿quién puede estar en contra nuestra? (Romanos 8:31 NVI)
En mi camino, he aprendido que Cristo, a través de Su
El amor de Cristo es incondicional y Él nos lo ofrece gratuitamente. El sacrificio de Jesús nos asegura la oportunidad de vivir eternamente con el Padre Celestial. Nuestra responsabilidad es simplemente volvernos a Dios, admitir que hemos pecado y que necesitamos Su perdón, y aceptar el regalo del pago de Jesús por nuestros pecados. Una vez que hacemos eso, Dios envuelve Sus brazos alrededor de nosotros y promete aferrarse a nosotros para siempre.
La salvación es gratuita y está disponible para todos los que busquen a Jesús en arrepentimiento.
Pero vivir una vida fructífera y caminar en Su libertad requiere nuestra cooperación constante.
Para vivir la vida que Dios nos ha ordenado, debemos elegirlo cada día y esforzarnos por conocerlo más. Debemos elegir el amor y la integridad, lo que puede requerir caminar por el camino angosto, tomando decisiones basadas en la sabiduría de Dios.
Para vivir una vida fructífera para Cristo, debemos vivir de acuerdo a Su Palabra. Al leer las instrucciones que nos da en la Biblia, llegamos a conocer su carácter, deseo y amor
Por lo tanto, sométanse a Dios. Resistid al diablo, y huirá de vosotros.
(Santiago 4:7 NVI)
hacia nosotros. Comenzamos a comprender Su sabiduría y cómo Sus pensamientos difieren de los caminos del mundo. Aprendemos a ver que estamos llamados a mundo. Aprendemos a ver que estamos llamados a pensar diferente, vivir diferente y caminar una vida en busca de la santidad y la pureza. A medida que crecemos, aprendemos a reprender los pensamientos pecaminosos y proteger nuestra mente contra el mal. A través de la conciencia, comenzamos a ver que el Espíritu de Dios es un parachoques en nuestras vidas, protegiéndonos y guiándonos y manteniéndonos en un recuerdo de la norma de Dios.
Si buscas a Dios, Él se te revelará. Pide y se te dará; Busca y encontraras; llama y la puerta se te abrirá. Porque todo el que pide recibe; el que busca encuentra; y al que llama, se le abre la puerta. (Mateo 7:7 NVI)
Puedo atestiguar personalmente que Dios nunca me ha descuidado en mi camino cristiano. Conoce hasta los pelos de mi cabeza y me valora. (Lucas 12:7)
Cuando dejé de correr con miedo y comencé a correr
hacia Cristo, me di cuenta de que estoy protegida por Dios y rodeada de una familia cristiana. Las bendiciones que tenía esperando del otro lado de la fe y la obediencia estaban más allá de mi imaginación. Si nunca has sido verdaderamente liberada del miedo, te invito a orar en silencio esta oración: “Padre Dios, gracias por enviar a tu Hijo Jesucristo a la cruz para morir por mis pecados. Gracias por tu amor. Me arrepiento del miedo que me ha tenido encadenada. Te libero el miedo, Padre, y mientras me someto a ti, Dios, el diablo debe huir. Abre mis ojos, abre mi corazón y aumenta mi fe hoy. Caminaré obedientemente, persiguiendo tu propósito y sabiduría para mi vida. Ven, Espíritu Santo, bautízame de nuevo y de nuevo con un nuevo bautismo para caminar por la fe y no por la vista. Imploro la sangre de Jesucristo sobre mi vida para que ninguna arma forjada contra mí prospere. En el nombre de Jesucristo, oro. AMÉN.”
Ten confianza hoy, sabiendo que el miedo ya no tiene poder para atormentarte, sino que eres verdaderamente una vencedora en Cristo Jesús. Deja que el amor eterno de nuestro Padre impregne tu alma. Deja que las palabras de Cristo moren ricamente en ti.
My name is Chi. I’m happy to write my thoughts about your ministry.
I love Women World Leaders because of the support it brings each day. I read the devotions every morning on your website and feel I have great friends I have never met. Your space has become a companion and a routine to me as I drink my morning coffee and read my Bible.
Thank you for your caring input through words, stories and most of all as you always share God’s Word.Chi Magoon – Galvaston, Texas
WOMEN WORLD LEADERS PRESENTS
How can you have joy when it seems like the wheels are coming off at every turn, and you’re holding on for dear life? There’s good news! You can be unhappy, even devastated, and still have Joy Unspeakable, Regardless of Your Circumstances! Yes, joy and sorrow can dance together during adversity. That’s because true joy comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ.
The authors of this book have suffered heart-wrenching tragedies and tribulations that everyone can relate to. Still, they celebrate that the Lord is their shield, refuge, strength, peace, hope, and JOY—despite the storms of life—because God has given us the final victory and bestowed upon us undefeatable joy.
Joy Unspeakable: Regardless of Your Circumstances presents expository teaching coupled with individual stories that testify to the joy of the Lord and the strength He provides amid trials and heartaches. The words in this book will encourage, inspire, motivate, and give you hope, joy, and peace as God unleashes His Joy Unspeakable into your life, regardless of your circumstances.
Dreaming of writing a book?
World Publishing and Productions was birthed in obedience to a calling by God.
Our mission is to empower you — the writer and artist — to walk in your God-given purpose and to share your God-story with the world. We offer one-on-one coaching and a complete publishing experience.
Each contract is tailored to fit your needs.
Empowering you to share your God-given story with the world.
WRITINGS FROM THE
Empowering Lives with Purpose SURRENDER
Taken from Surrendered: Yielded With Purpose
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.(Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV)
Whenyou accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a new creation. God’s love for you never ends. Your past does not matter. Whether you were a liar, a prostitute, an addict, a thief, or filled with unforgiveness and disobedience to God and His Word, God says He will forgive you and remember your sins no more.
Letting go of our past can be very difficult. Holding on to guilt and shame because of a past mistake by you or someone close to you could rob you of your beautiful present life and the fantastic future God wants for you. The enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy and wants nothing more than to throw all your past mistakes in your face. An unreleased painful past can put you into a vice that slowly squeezes the life out of you. God does not want that, but the enemy of your soul does. He wants every extremity and internal organ to die. That way, you will no longer be a threat to him. Surrendering your past to God and blossoming into a purpose allows Him to freely use you as the masterpiece He created you to be. He wants to do something new in your life! God will use you to bring glory to Himself and bring others to His Kingdom.
Walk faithfully with the Lord and put the past behind you in full surrender to God. As you do, keep in mind that God is at work in your life even when you do not see it, feel it, or think it. With Christ’s power, put on a new mindset, and don’t look back. Allow the inner peace you desperately desire begin to flow. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Understand that mistakes may still happen, but we can use them as opportunities for growth. This idea may be difficult and challenging for some, but God will help you make stronger and wiser choices as you ask Him for help each day.
When you wake up each morning, look at that new day as a new start. You are blossoming as a child of the king today. Work heavily on putting your past behind you and look to God from the moment your eyes open, not allowing anything to hinder your relationship with the Lord as you enter the new day. Your attitude must be one of looking to God to guide you, strengthen you, and equip you as you walk in the newness of life He has for you.
If you feel yourself slipping, remind yourself of your full surrender. You are NOT to look back; spring forward because you have already given your past to God. Look ahead and read scripture to strengthen you. Ask the Holy Spirit within you to refresh your thoughts.
Instead, let the spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. (Ephesians 4:23–24 NLT)
You must understand that God can work even through the bad situations in your life, bringing good out of it all. That may seem unimaginable when you begin this process of release to God, but the good yet to come is a promise from His Word. God wants your thoughts, actions, and words from the past that still haunt you. He wants all of it surrendered to Him so that He can be God and work them out for His glory and your good. Your past does not define you; God says who you are in Christ.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
God has a plan for your life; trust Him with it. Let go and behold, He is doing something new with YOU.Kimberly Hobbs Founder & co-CEO firstname.lastname@example.org
I read Voice of Truth while my mom was undergoing chemo treatments.
It brought tremendous comfort to my heart at a time when nothing was making sense to me. My mom is still in the battle and I ask for prayers for her. I just want to thank the ministry for supporting women the way you do.
I pray for Women World Leaders as you touch the world for the Lord.
Karisa — Memphis, Tennessee
Biblical ProfilesA FOCUS ON JONAH
As leaders, God often calls us into positions beyond the confines of our comfort zone. Have you ever felt like running away from a God-ordained role? I can honestly say that I have. There have been times in ministry and even as a mom when I have longed to disappear, pleading with God, “Can’t someone else step in? I’m exhausted and unqualified.”
As I pray, inevitably, God responds with, “Or are you self-focused and self-reliant? I have called you, and I will equip you. Just keep walking. I have much for you to do.”
The book of Jonah tells the story of a reluctant leader. Jonah was called by God; he was given an amazing opportunity to travel to Nineveh and offer spiritual guidance to 120,000 people! But Jonah saw his calling from a purely human perspective: he would have to go into a land ripe with wickedness, stand in the midst of corruption, and preach against their way of life. He was self-focused—not wanting to be inconvenienced. And he was self-reliant— likely scared for his own life and questioning his ability. The call was so unappealing that Jonah ran—and I mean, he took off and hopped on a boat going in the opposite direction. And then he went to sleep, shutting the rest of the world out, only to soon learn a life lesson:
It’s impossible to run from God or shut Him out.
Jonah 1:5 says that the LORD sent a great storm that threatened the ship and the well-being of all on board. But Jonah slept on. The sailors did all they could to steady
the ship, each even crying out to their own gods. Finally, in despair, they cast lots, hoping to discover who the storm was targeting. The lots pointed to Jonah. So they woke him, and when he told them, “I am a Hebrew and I worship the LORD, the God of heaven, who made the sea and dry land,” they were terrified. (Jonah 1:9 NIV) They had heard of this Hebrew God and knew He was powerful.
Jonah told the crew to throw him overboard to save themselves, and they did, even as they cried out to Jonah’s Hebrew God—the LORD—which was a miracle in and of itself. When the winds died down and the sea calmed, the sailors offered a sacrifice to the LORD and made vows to him. (Jonah 1:6 NIV)
Isn’t our God amazing? I’m not referencing the calming of the storm—although that is surely striking—but that God used the actions of a disobedient servant to bring a whole shipload of sailors into an alliance with Him. That simply is beyond our realm of understanding. But that’s who our God is. Too bad Jonah missed the party.
God will use every step and misstep we make. BUT…when we step WITH God, we get to be part of the miracle.
You probably know the next part of the story—God didn’t give up on Jonah. In fact, He saved Him by directing a big fish to swallow him whole, where he hung out for three days and had a “come-to-Jesus” moment. Can you imagine being in a FISH? Just think of the horrific stench
that must have permeated the darkness as Jonah floated in bile and digesting “fish food.”
Finally, after Jonah vowed to listen to the Lord, the fish spit him out on dry land, and Jonah headed to Nineveh after all.
God WILL have His way—and we are far better off WITH Him than AGAINST Him
Jonah preached to those in Nineveh, as God commanded. Much to his surprise, the people were convicted and repented. And the LORD, in response, spared all those in the land. Jonah, through God’s provision, had completed his calling with unmeasured success. He never had to be self-reliant—God had the perfect plan all along. You’d think that Jonah would have been ecstatic, but instead, he was angry. He wanted the people to be punished for their evil ways, not treated with mercy and compassion.
This may confuse us—until we put it into perspective. It is downright un-human to want good things to happen to those who have caused harm and destruction. But God’s character is far above man’s character; God IS love. And He wants to lavish EVERYONE with forgiveness and compassion. That means we can come to God no matter
WHAT we have done and receive His mercy and grace.
And when we allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, we can exude that same love for others.
Jonah was still self-focused, but God didn’t give up on him. In fact, He continued to lead and guide him.
Jonah ventured outside the city, where God made a large, leafy plant grow to provide shade from the dangerously hot sun. And Jonah was happy, recognizing God’s provision. But the next morning, God sent a worm to destroy the plant, and Jonah got so hot he wanted to die. He was done.
Then the LORD spoke clearly, pointing out Jonah’s selffocus. Jonah had wanted and accepted the LORD’s mercy for himself, but he reacted in anger when God lavished mercy on others.
Jonah attempted to run from God and the calling on his life. And although his actions were full of blunders and missteps, God never stopped loving, leading, and guiding him.
Sometimes, we, too, may be tempted to run away from God and our calling, becoming self-absorbed and believing we are not equipped to handle what we have been asked to do. But you can’t run from God. And when we look beyond ourselves and trust the LORD’s power as we take purposeful steps, He will always lavish us with provision, mercy, and grace. And we won’t miss the after-party!Julie Jenkins WWL co-CEO email@example.com
GOD, IN HIS GOODNESS, LAVISHES HIS MERCY ON ANYONE WHO COMES TO HIM.
POWER POINTS: GOD AT WORK THROUGH WOMEN LEADERS YESTERDAY AND TODAY Esther JohnBY LEECY BARNETT
“This girl was in love with your Christ. She still speaks even though she is dead.” 1
The girl mentioned above was given the name Qamar Zia when she was born in 1929. Qamar grew up in Madras (now Chennai), India when it was part of the British Raj. The Zia family were devout Muslims yet like other Indians of various religions, they sent Qamar to a Christian high school because of its reputation for giving an excellent education.
This decision had unintended consequences. During the year or so she studied at the Christian school, Qamar was “profoundly moved by the transparent faith of one of her teachers, and she began to read the Bible earnestly.” 2 Islam teaches that God is “distinct from everything else. It would not suit God’s majesty and glory to associate the limited attributes of His creation to Him because He is not restricted in any way, while His creation is.” 3 So she must have been amazed when she read about the Messiah: But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:5-6 NIV) As she came to realize that God is not aloof from His creation but became a man who died for our sins as Isaiah predicted, she placed her faith in Jesus as her Savior and Lord.
In 1947 when India gained independence, Qamar and her family moved to the new Islamic state of Pakistan. Through her teacher, Qamar was able to contact a Christian missionary in Karachi who gave her a New Testament. Reading the Bible over
and over again helped her grow in her faith, which she kept secret from the rest of her family.
Several years later, when her parents had arranged for her to marry a Muslim man, Qamar felt compelled to break with her family and openly declare her faith in Christ. Because “her family still pressed her to return and to marry, …[in] 1955 she took a train north to Sahiwal, in the Punjab.” 4 It was in Sahiwal that she was baptized and took the name Esther John. When she first moved to the Punjab, she worked in the mission hospital there but soon felt a calling to be an evangelist. To prepare for this ministry she attended the United Bible Training Centre in Gujranwala.
After graduation, Esther returned to the countryside near Sahiwal and worked with an American missionary couple to preach the gospel to women in the area. This was a difficult task both physically—they often traveled by bike and slept in tents—and spiritually—Pakistan was and continues to be more than 95% Muslim. Undoubtedly, someone was vehemently opposed to her preaching the gospel. In February 1960, she was found dead, having been brutally murdered in her sleep. It was the “police officer, going through her possessions looking for clues, [who] told Mr. White [the American missionary], ‘This girl was in love with your Christ.’” 5 Although her murder was never solved, it was clear to the authorities that she was killed because of her faith.
In 1998, Esther John was included in the Ten Modern Missionaries whose statues adorn the West entrance to Westminster Abbey in London. These statues remind us that even today, Our brothers and sisters defeated him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb’s death and by the message they preached. They did not love their lives so much that they were afraid of death. (Revelation 12:11 NCV) Let those of us who enjoy religious freedom never take it for granted, and let us pray for ourselves and for other believers living in hostile environments that we love Christ more than anything, even our lives.
1 Stacey, V. (2012). Esther John. In R. E. Hedlund, J. Athyal, J.Kalapati, J. Richard, & MylaporeInstitute for Indigenous Studies (Eds.), The Oxford Encyclopaedia of South Asian Christianity. Oxford University Press, p. 247.
2 Westminster Abbey. (n.d.). Esther John. https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-commemorations/commemorations/esther-john
3 Why Islam? (2022). Concept of God in Islam.
4 Westminster Abbey. (n.d.). Esther John. https://www.westminster-abbey.org/abbey-commemorations/commemorations/esther-john
5 When Women Speak. (2016, April 4). Discipling those who pay a great price for faith: Esther John 1929 – 1960.
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FOLLOWING THE SON
PromisesPHOTO AND WRITING BY MICHELE HUGHES
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was holding my nose, submerged in water. And then, suddenly, I was pulled up out of the water. I was baptized! I truly felt like my sins were washed away, and I was a new creature. The weight of the world was left behind, and an overwhelming sense of peace came over me. Romans 6:4 says, We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. (NIV)
My husband and I have the privilege of leading groups at our church, and periodically, they offer baptisms. We have the blessing of living near the ocean, baptisms take place at the beach. But this particular Sunday, several big pools—tanks, really—were set up outside for baptisms after church. We were so excited because several of our people were getting baptized. Matthew 28:19-20 says, Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (NIV)
I love God’s timing! What a wonderful reminder of God’s goodness and His promises.
Baptisms are an outward display of our sins being washed away and the Holy Spirit flooding our souls. We rise anew in Christ Jesus. We read from Genesis to Revelation all of God’s promises, and we can be sure He will never leave us or forsake us. The rainbow is an arc symbolizing God’s protection, a sign of the covenant between God and man. He doesn’t promise that the storms will not come. He promises He will be with us through the storm.
HE DOESN’T PROMISE THAT THE STORMS WILL NOT COME. HE PROMISES HE WILL BE WITH US THROUGH THE STORM.
The next time you see a rainbow, stop. Look up. Remember what the arc means. Praise Him for His promises and protection. Do you recall childhood visions of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? There is no greater treasure than the One who awaits those who make it to “the other side.”
Michele Hughes, a #1 best selling author, resides in Jupiter, Florida, with her husband. They own and operate GoLifeSavers.com where Michele has taught CPR classes since 2011 as the lead instructor.
It rained on and off during the baptisms. At one point, I turned and stepped under a tent. That’s when I saw it. A beautiful rainbow!
Michele holds a master’s degree in education and serves on the leadership team in Women World Leaders. She loves the Son/ sun, family, paddle boarding, travel, and encouraging others.
Women World Leaders and TriLight Pictures present:
Crowning Lori is a hilarious faith-based movie about two ex-beauty queens with a relationship as fake as a social media page. As they navigate sabotaged job interviews, a showdown with an eccentric therapist and desperate attempts to makeover themselves and their marriages, Victoria and Lori must learn to lift each other up rather than tear each other down and ultimately discover where their true worth lies.
Directed by Lisa Arnold
One Nation Under God and God’s Not Dead
PARTNER WITH US
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“A fun ride that also has something meaningful and important to say along the way... A mix of comedy with drama and faith elements (that) really works... A brilliant idea.” ~ WeScreenplay
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“Brilliantly funny!!! This story is both funny and heartwarming but its greatest value is its powerful message of faith.”Karen Abercrombie War Room Candace Kirkpatrick Vindication
When You’ve Looked the Devil in the EyeBY TINA KADOLPH
Carl and I had been pastoring for around 13 years and were serving a congregation of about 150 people. We loved serving and caring for those God sent to us and knew we were blessed to be part of this big, happy family. My husband has always been bi-vocational, which means he pastors while working a separate, full-time job. His “other” work is in the construction field. He is certainly gifted in all phases of construction, having done everything from general contracting to home repair and remodeling. Construction is a great career (even Jesus liked it)—
and most of the time, Carl can work his construction schedule around his church schedule. He always puts God, his family, and His flock before His job.
One morning as Carl was picking up his tools for that day’s work from a storage unit he rented, he noticed a guy in the unit beside his. He did not think much about it; he just noticed him. Despite having rented that space for a few years, Carl had never seen this man before. After that first encounter, he started seeing him more and more—nearly every time he
was there. He eventually struck up a conversation with him, asking him questions and telling him he was a pastor.
In time, the man, let’s call him Brad, opened up and told Carl he lived in the storage unit. Carl felt like there was something off or wrong with Brad— besides the fact that he was living in a storage unit. It was a Holy Spirit kind of discernment.
After finding out Brad was living in the storage unit, Carl felt like these frequent encounters made sense. Carl asked if he needed help. Food? Money? Brad said no, explaining that he had chosen to live where he was. “Less responsibilities,” he told Carl.
They continued these encounters for many weeks. Carl repeatedly asked Brad if he’d like to come to church. Brad always said he respected Carl and liked him, but he was not interested in church.
Brad did not want Carl to see whatever was on that computer. Carl apologized, explaining he had tried to get his attention, but Brad had not heard him. Brad acted extremely uncomfortable and displayed guilt. They small talked awkwardly for a few minutes before Carl left.
When Carl got home, he told me what had happened, and I was openly upset. I told him he must find out if it was kids on Brad’s computer screen. He agreed and said he would find out somehow. The next day, Carl decided to confront Brad. He told him what he had seen and asked if the pornography he had been looking at was children or adults. Brad promised Carl it was adults, disclosing he had a problem with pornography and, in the past, had issues with children. He said that was the real reason he was living in the storage unit—he had been married and went to jail after molesting his stepdaughter. He told Carl he was now trying to get his life back on track.
Carl boldly told Brad that as he was still watching pornography, he was not going in a good direction to get his life on track. He then advised that his best chance was to find Christ and let Jesus change his heart. “That is the only way,” Carl said, “for true change to happen.” Carl then asked him if he truly wanted to change. Brad replied that he really did want to change and not continue living the life he was living. So Carl shared with Brad how much Jesus loved him and wanted change for him also. He asked him if he wanted to accept Christ as his personal savior. Brad said no, he was not ready. Carl persevered, asking him if he wanted to come to church. Brad said yes!
One day Carl went to drop off tools at the unit, and as it was a hot day, Brad had his door wide open. Carl stood in front of the door to say hello, but Brad did not hear him as he was on his computer and had fans blowing. So, Carl walked closer, and as he did, he saw pornography on Brad’s computer. The women looked young, but it was unclear if they were teens or adults. He wanted to find out, but just as he got closer, Brad sensed Carl behind him, turned around, and hit a button that shut down the screen.
When Carl came home, sad and excited at the same time, he couldn’t wait to share what had happened. I listened, asked questions, and then said I did not want that man in our church. I was very serious. He was the kind of man my mom had sold me to as a young girl, and I wanted him nowhere near our church, our children, or the kids in our congregation. He said he understood, but he knew God wanted Brad in church so he could find healing and restoration. But I honestly did not feel that way; I was angry and fearful.
He did not see me look at him, but as I did, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go tell him how much He loved him.
So, Carl and I prayed and talked and prayed some more. He promised me that Brad would never be alone in the church; our leaders would be informed and keep an eye on him. That still did not give me comfort. But finally, I said that he could come to our church.
I tried to be the kind of person Jesus would want me to be. I showed kindness but kept my guard up, constantly watching him. I felt it was my job to make sure he did not do anything wrong. I had to protect my family and my church. And that’s exactly what I did for weeks as he faithfully continued to attend. He was always respectful and never put himself in a position for anyone to question if he was doing the right thing. But I still did not trust him.
One normal Sunday, our church was full Brad sat in the front row like he always did. It was crazy; he always sat in the front row across the aisle from me, which was perfect because I could keep a good eye on him. But on this Sunday, which felt so normal, things started to change as we began to worship. I began to feel the Holy Spirit so strongly in the room. As I was worshiping, tears rolled down my face. That definitely had happened before, but something felt different. I started to shake and feel very hot. I thought, What the heck is happening to me?
I glanced at Brad. He had his eyes closed and his head bent down, and I could see tears running down his face. He did not see me look at him, but as I did, I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to go tell him how much He loved him. I said, No Lord, I cannot do that.
God is so patient with me—I’m always arguing with Him. But the feeling was overwhelming. I again felt Him say, Go tell him I love him.
I started feeling sick to my stomach, and I actually thought I might throw up. God knows me well. Although I often argue with Him, He always knows I’LL be obedient to what He asks me. So, with tears streaming down my face, I began to walk toward Brad.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”(Matthew 5:43-48 NIV)
NO, Lord, I cannot. Please send Carl or someone else. Please, not me. Lord, you know what I have been through with men like him. I just can’t. Please. Not me.
Again, the Lord nudged me and said, YOU are who he needs to hear it from.
I FELT LIKE I WAS GETTING READY TO LOOK THE DEVIL IN THE FACE.
But as I got close and Brad looked up, I didn’t see the devil. I saw a broken man. I walked to him and said, “God sent me here this morning to tell you
something.” I was crying. He was crying. I said, “God knows what you’ve done. All of it. And He wants you to know He loves you, and if you are willing to surrender to Him, He will forgive you.”
When I said that, he fell to His knees.
I got on the ground beside him, and he said as he sobbed, “I was just saying, ‘God if you’re real, how can you ever forgive me for the things I have done.’”
I put my arms around him and said, “I forgive you too.”
He cried harder, and I cried harder. He said, “What must I do?”
I said, “Ask Jesus into your heart and accept Him as your savior and He will forgive you.”
He said, “I have done some very terrible things.”
I said, “He knows, and I know.” I just knew. I knew he had hurt little girls just like me. I just knew. But more importantly, God knew. He just started sobbing so hard and begging God to forgive him for the things
he had done. Then he asked Jesus into his heart. We hugged. And as we stood back up, we saw that everyone was watching us, and they all had tears running down their faces. I don’t know if everyone knew the magnitude of what happened that Sunday morning except God, Brad, and me.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, But the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
(Psalm 34:18-22 NIV)
God had me look into the eyes of a man I thought was the devil himself, and He showed me that He loves everyone, even abusers. He let me see that not all abusers are evil; some are broken humans who have also been abused. I found out later Brad had been raped by his uncle, and he abused others because that was what he knew. He had hoped he could stop, but he had never been able to change until that normal Sunday morning, which wasn’t so normal after all.
That morning, two people received healing, and one man received Christ’s forgiveness and salvation.
Brad went on to get married and live a happy, healthy life with his new wife. We lost touch after he moved away to start a new life with a new job and a new church they attended regularly. He kept himself in check by always letting his pastors know where he came from, so they could help keep him accountable. He was a changed man. ONLY God can do that. He can do that for anyone willing to accept His gift of freedom from the bondage that so many of us carry. How loving and merciful is our God!
Thank you for letting me share this, another intimate part of my life, with you. May God bless you.Love, Tina
I want to share this with you. Your magazine has been an uplifting read in my office. I see clients for my profession and I chose to lay your publication on a table in my waiting room.
I’ve had many women ask if they could take the copy. I know this inspiring book brings hope to a world that needs it.
Thank you for sharing it with so many.Christine — Dayton, Ohio
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
(1 John 1:9 NIV)
PSALM 28:7 NKJV
BESIDE STILL WATERS
Hurling Stones at the EnemyBY RUSANNE CAROLE
I am a woman warrior in the army of God
My weapons are supernatural, and so is my strength
It comes from my Father, who enables me by His Spirit, His power. He is mighty above it all
These are the stones I carry in my arsenal, ready to always use and come against the enemy
His lies, his plans to take me out
They do come, and that’s ok. I just cannot stay here for long
It releases what I need to carry on
My Daddy rescues me and holds me close, catching every tear
And then He prepares me for battle, fully equipped with His armour He’s so wisely and lovingly provided for His girl
I am learning
I’m being taught by the ‘I am’
I am being moulded every step of the way to be as He has created me to be
I am a woman warrior
I feel things deeply
I hate injustice
I am moved by compassion and love for others
I protect my young and the young of our world
I yearn for heaven and heavenly things
But I am here for a time such as this
I am a woman warrior
On earth, I will always require and desperately need my armour, given to me by my Father God
Wear our armour; it never wears out
Wield our sword; it is always sharp!
Hurl those stones right at the enemy’s head
Thwart those plans come to take us out
The goodness of God
He equips us, protects us, strengthens us each day
There are divine purposes
He planned long ago for each one of us, His children He adores and loves so deeply
On earth, we have armour to fight what battles come our way
But heaven awaits, and we will have glorious robes to wear, and all will finally be well
Don’t give up
On the straight paths
He makes a way
Until then, let the battle cries sing as God sings over us
Battle and rest
Battle and rest
Rest in Him; it is the only safe place
Under His wings of protection, shade, and time of recovery
Give me rest to carry on each day
My eyes transfixed completely on You
Speak to me
Let me operate in Your wisdom and truth
For all my living days will be to glorify only You
SONS OF KINGS
You Are QualifiedBY DR. JIA CONWAY
We can spend a lifetime building a resume that is supposed to speak to and give a summary of who we are and what qualifies us to fulfill a position. We can spend a lifetime trying to measure up, make the mark, and meet the benchmarks of being “qualified.” Qualifications of the world weigh against our creditworthiness and what we have earned to be deemed eligible or ineligible—this is a fair exchange. However, despite what the world may have deemed you as ineligible from, or not creditworthy of, Sons of Kings, it is God and God alone who qualifies. Glory be to the God who does not qualify you based on past mistakes but seeks to keep you close in the bosom of His covenant.
Don’t disqualify yourself if God has already qualified you, as He has spoken in His Word. Don’t take your cards off the table just yet because you are reading the room and think you are not measuring up! Stay at the table.
YOU ARE QUALIFIED.
Colossians reminds us that we are to thank the Father, not ourselves or anyone else for that matter, for what He has qualified us to share in as beneficiaries of His inheritance. This is an inheritance; you do not have to revise the paperwork, and you don’t need a co-signer. God says He has spiritually qualified you to do what He called you to do.
Sons, do not allow the enemy to talk you out of what has been stored up in the kingdom for you. You have been rescued, restored, and redeemed from the dominion and captivity of darkness, and now you stand “Qualified” for your kingdom inheritance.
This wondrous knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it.
(Psalm 139:6 CSB)
BECAUSE YOU PRAYEDBY DIANA BROWN
Prayer. That’s a deep, profound word. Prayer is something that comes naturally to some and not to others. Some embrace it, and some may be scared of it. Yet prayer is something we are commanded to do in Scripture.
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (Luke 18:1 ESV)
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV)
As believers, prayer is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal. Prayer, you have heard us say many times over, is the foundation of Women World Leaders—it is something we do NOT take lightly. In Women World Leaders, prayer is our life and heartbeat, propelling us in everything we do. Ephesians 3:20, our founding verse, reminds us that God is working exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think. This is the reason we take prayer so seriously. God has a plan, and we strive our very best to accomplish all that God has called us to; that begins by seeking Him in all aspects through prayer.
Read the passage from Isaiah 37:14-21 (ESV) where Hezekiah goes before the Lord to PRAY for Judah’s deliverance.
Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord. And Hezekiah prayed to the Lord: “O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Incline your
GOD HAS A PLAN, AND WE STRIVE OUR VERY BEST TO ACCOMPLISH ALL THAT GOD HAS CALLED US TO; THAT BEGINS BY SEEKING HIM IN ALL ASPECTS THROUGH PRAYER.
ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear all the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste all the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire. For they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. So now, O Lord our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the Lord.”
Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Because you have prayed to me…”
This act of prayer was so powerful that God’s people did not have to lift a finger to save themselves. Isaiah 37:36 (ESV) explains:
And the angel of the Lord went out and struck down 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians. And when people arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies.
Can you imagine waking up to see not 1, 5, 25, 100, or even 1,000, but 185,000 soldiers who had been holding you captive dead? The prisoners, God’s people, did not have to lift a finger because the angel of the Lord took care of them. Even the king of Assyria was killed by his very own sons. Imagine how it would feel to see your enemy completely demolished while you didn’t lift a single hand in battle! Think about that! God answered the prayer of Hezekiah. One man’s prayer. WOW!
Because you have prayed to me. (Isaiah 37:12 ESV)
This remarkable deliverance took place because Hezekiah prayed. Prayer is something we are all called to and have access to daily, 24/7. God wants to be God in our life, and He wants us to call on Him. One of the reasons Hezekiah had been ever interceding was because he wanted God to be glorified and praised. It was ALL God in what God did! I don’t know about you, but that makes me excited—watching God be God on behalf of Hezekiah because Hezekiah prayed. It also makes
me excited as I watch the ministry of Women World Leaders reach around the world and impact lives for the sake of the gospel message. All because we pray. AMAZING!
“So now, O LORD our God, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone are the LORD.” (Isaiah 37:20 ESV)
The Bible says in Chronicles:
“Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed…..for the battle is not yours but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV)
Stand back. Be amazed. Be ever interceding. Watch God work in your life and in the lives of others because you have prayed to God!
God said to Habakkuk:
“Look among the nations and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” (Habakkuk 1:5 ESV)
We are told in Jeremiah that God will answer us when we call.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” (Jeremiah 33:3 ESV)
Call unto our powerful God who is able to fight our battles and provide for us as He sees fit. Our prayers matter to God, and God will do mighty things because you have prayed. It is all in His timing and how He works. God is never early, BUT He is never late!
Father God, as I fight on my knees, interceding in and through prayer, help me to realize the battle belongs to you. Help me to trust and leave it all at your feet. You are a God who works on behalf of us. You are doing exceedingly and abundantly. Father God, we stand in awe of you. Father God, may we be quick to give you all glory and honor always. In the name of Jesus, AMEN
Grab your Bible. Read through Isaiah 37 slowly and prayerfully. Meditate as you read through the passage. Highlight or underline what speaks to your heart as you read.
How did God speak to you through Isaiah 37?
What battles are you facing right now that belong to the Lord? What battles do you need to give to the Lord?
Pray a prayer about fighting your battles through prayer:
Because you have prayed to me.
WATCH GOD WORK IN YOUR LIFE AND IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS BECAUSE YOU HAVE PRAYED TO GOD!
Pray without ceasing.
(1 THESSALONIANS 5:17 ESV)
A Beautiful Mess
THE GREATEST WORK WE CAN DO WITH OUR CHILDREN IS THE WORK OF THEIR HEARTS.BY JESSICA PRUKNER
Theyears continue to pass, and it is hard to believe my kindergartens are turning into high school and middle schoolers. The seasons of life have flown by far too quickly. The saying “the days are long, but the years are short” seems so very true.
I now consider myself a veteran homeschool mom, and with that comes lots of experience and wisdom. I get questions weekly from stressed parents asking, How do I start? Where do I begin? What do I do? It can all seem so overwhelming in the moment. There is so much stress not to mess your kids up or do the wrong thing. But looking back, I believe there really isn’t a right way to approach homeschooling. Each experience will be as individual as the child and parent themselves.
God gave us these beautiful, unique children to love and care for; He is faithful to supply all our needs to be the best for them as both their parents and teachers. Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made, and being able to see them grow day in and day out has given me a front-row seat to their individual beauty.
I have raised all three of my children the same, yet they are all so different. They each learn, love, and receive love in unique ways. Each has distinct struggles and strengths and talents. Thankfully, God has given me the wisdom to adapt to each of my children’s needs and the creativity to respond accordingly. While one may need a tutor, another may crave more social interaction,
and still another may thrive with more alone time to discover and refill. This is the gift of homeschooling: being involved and engaged daily, setting our children up to experience life and learning in their best environments.
As homeschooling parents, we have the opportunity to hold our children’s hands and guide them in life as we walk beside them. Sometimes the best thing we can do is see the big picture—take a step back from the math book, take a deep breath, and remember the reason behind our work. God has given us the gift of raising our children to love Him and love and serve others. The greatest work we can do with our children is the work of their hearts. We get to see them for who they are and who God created them to be, not just a number in a desk that calls “here” at roll call.
Use your precious time to appreciate your children and all you both are learning. Those are truly gifts from God.
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THROUGH THE EYES OF MERCI
You Are Never AloneBY KELLEY RENE
Women World Leaders presents “Through the Eyes of Merci,” written by award-winning author Kelley Rene. Kelley writes contemporary fiction to illustrate biblical truths in the mundane, the exhilarating, and even the stormy circumstances of life.
“Through the Eyes of Merci” follows the fictional character, Merci Rivers, a third-year transfer student navigating the challenges of university life. Living away from home for the first time is hard. She believes in God but doesn’t think He has time for her meager issues. Will she wallow in loneliness or trust that He has her back?
Sunlight peeks between the fragile, white blinds hanging over the double window in the bare college apartment. The hush of voices from the other bedroom awakens loneliness in Merci, her constant companion. It’s no surprise she hasn’t seen her roommates. After all, they were assigned to the same apartment by an arbitrary algorithm, and they tend to stay to themselves, not showing their faces for days.
The buzz of her cell phone grabs her attention. Mom. I can’t listen to another lecture. Not today.
Guilt blankets her as she declines the call. She isn’t in the mood to hear her mother ask, “Have you prayed about it?” Yes, life is lonely. Yes, she is trying to make her way in her new environment. And yes, she has prayed about it. Merci snatches her keys and heads to the door, attempting to escape the doldrums of her world.
A hand to her nose does nothing to ward off the stench of the garbage bags awaiting pickup in the exterior corridor. She pauses at the staircase for two guys struggling under the weight of several boxes. Their steps echo off the concrete and crescendo as they reach the landing.
Her quick reflexes catch a desk lamp just before it totters over the edge of an opened box.
“Much obliged!” The owner props his parcel on the railing, draws in a deep breath, and releases it. “I’m Clive. You live here?”
“322.” She hitches a thumb over her shoulder and instantly chastises herself for identifying her home away from home to a complete stranger.
He winks and flashes a dazzling smile. One she imagines is full of deception.
Merci takes the stairs, hiding the flush in her cheeks. Despite the brisk air, the day boasts a perfectly blue sky. At the ground floor, she squats to tighten a shoelace before crossing the street to the coffee shop. Ten minutes later, she tucks the gift card she received for Christmas back into her backpack and wiggles into a side chair with a hot latte.
Three females in high-waisted yoga pants giggle over the
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and is always available to hear our cry and rescue us in our time of need.
(Proverbs 18:24 ESV)
details of a party the night before, ignoring the patron squeezing between them to snatch a lid.
Their laughter prances through the air, igniting a deep longing in Merci for connection.
I’m so pathetic.
“Seat taken?” A tall brunette appears out of nowhere, drops a messenger bag at her feet, and plops into the closest chair. “You into meeting new people?” She smiles as if she’s known Merci her whole life, waving a flyer at her.
Merci accepts the colorful invitation.
“Bring an appetite.” Her laugh is warm. Inviting. “And comfortable shoes. There will be games.”
Merci studies the proffered page. “Campus Bible Fellowship. Every Tuesday at 7 pm.”
I guess I was wrong, God. You do hear my prayers.
What We Learn
Ever since Merci arrived on campus, loneliness has been her steady companion. She misses home and has been unsuccessful in building relationships at the new college. And reading her Bible and praying have taken a backseat as she questions whether those things even help.
Maybe you can relate to feeling alone or being an outsider. When you have, do you talk to God about it? There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother and is always available to hear our cry and rescue us in our time of need.
(Proverbs 18:24 ESV)
Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
The New Testament is full of outsiders, yet Jesus met them right where they were. The woman with the issue of blood. The woman at the well. The blind man. The list goes on.
You are never truly alone. God desires to have a relationship with you. Jeremiah 29:12-13 says, Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (NIV)
Catch up with Merci in our next edition and find out if she visits Campus Bible Fellowship.
Along with her chapter in Embrace the Journey, Kelley Rene has published three novellas, Saving Sabine, Romanian Runaway, and Kamilah. She is thrilled to be a contributor in the Women World Leaders’ Miracle Mindset: Finding Hope in the Chaos, releasing in summer 2023. When she’s not scribbling out stories, you’ll find her crocheting, kayaking, enjoying a good book and cappuccino, or cuddling her precious grandbabies. Read more at kelleyrene.com.
Cast all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you.
(1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
This world needs more men to step up, step out, and be Men of Honor. We need men who will boldly claim their stance as warriors for their family, community, faith, and country.
Over twenty authors in this book share their accounts of God’s provision, care, and power as they proclaim His Word. Through these real-life stories, may the Holy Spirit impact your heart and the hearts of men around the world, giving life-sustaining hope and encouragement.
As the enemy does his best to take men out and off their mission, the war he instigates rages on within men’s lives. Wherever you may be on your journey, be assured you can be a victorious overcomer in whatever situation life brings your way.
God is awakening warriors to step up and be heard as they live with valiant and courageous faith. With its stories and teachings, United Men of Honor: Overcoming Adversity Through Faith will help you armor up, become fit to fight, and move forward with what it takes to be an honorable leader.
FAITH AND FAMILY The PlanBY DONNA WHARTENBY
Are you a planner? Do you make A, B, and C plans, like I do? Do your plans always turn out as expected?
Did you know you are a part of a bigger plan? God’s plan.
There’s a reason you are here at this moment in time. You have a purpose, and God has written your life’s plan.
n In Jeremiah 29:11-13, God proclaims I know the plans I have for you. (NIV) His plans of hope, plans to prosper, and time of prayer and seeking Him are yours.
n Jeremiah 1:5 affirms Before [God] formed you in the womb [He] knew you, before you were born [He] set you apart. (NIV) He knew you even before you were born.
n And according to Matthew 10:30, God knows the number of hairs on your head.
Your life as a follower of Christ is a part of God’s bigger plan. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to save us from our sins and teach us how to live a life pleasing to God.
n Proverbs 16:9 says the Lord establishes our steps. He sent His Holy Spirit to help and guide us on the path straight to Him. Our every step is chosen. The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. (Psalm 37:23-24 NIV)
n Proverbs 19:21 affirms the Lord directs our purpose no matter what plans we make.
n Psalm 138:8 tells us The Lord will work out his plans for my [your] life. (NLT)
n Psalm 103:1 assures us God will forgive our sins and heal our diseases.
n He also promises to teach us the way to go and counsel us with His love (Psalms 32:8)
n In 2 Chronicles 7:14, God admonishes, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (NIV)
n He promises to answer our prayers and be with us wherever we go. Psalm 37:4 professes He will give you the desires of your heart. (NIV)
n And James 1:17 tells us God never changes.
God’s plan includes His abundant blessings of grace, mercy, peace, strength, rest, hope, salvation, eternal life, His unfailing love, gentleness, wisdom, and so much more.
n 2 Corinthians 9:8 reminds us God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (NIV)
God’s plan incorporates His provisions.
n The Women World Leaders verse proclaims Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20 ESV)
n John 10:10 tells us Jesus came so we can have life to the fullest.
n God’s power and strength are provided to us, as 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 states My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (NIV)
n And Philippians 4:19 reminds us God will meet our needs according to His plan.
God’s plan promises His faithfulness.
n Hebrews 13:5 tells us God will never leave us or forsake us.
n John 3:16 promises everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (CSB)
n the Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 1:6, He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. (NIV)
God’s plan is so much better than anything we can plan for our lives! The Bible gives us this confidence. You can be confident as you pray and ask God today to show you His plan for your life. God’s Word assures us that Every good and perfect gift is from above. (James 1:17 NIV)
Donna grew up in a Christian home and attended weekly church with her family. She and her husband, Keith, have been married for 39 years and have a son. Donna loves singing, traveling, and spending vacations and holidays with her three grandchildren. She is passionate about teaching and facilitates ladies’ Bible studies and small groups. Family is important to her, which is why Donna is delighted to write this Faith and Family column for Voice of Truth magazine.
YOUR LIFE AS A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST IS A PART OF GOD’S BIGGER PLAN.
Hermouthspeaks fromthatwhich fillherheart.~ from Luke 6:45
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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!
NONNA’S kNOWledge Be Strong and Courageous NOWBY CAROLYN JOY
Ina world filled with right being wrong and wrong being right, we need to stand up for God’s values we read in the Bible. Our children and grandchildren are being indoctrinated at a young age to compromise the very basics of Christianity.
Living in Southwest Florida during Hurricane Ian seemed to reinforce the belief that life isn’t fair. Why did one tree stand tall when another beside it was uprooted? Why did one home flood when the home a few doors away was spared? How does a boat end up on land and a house end up in the water? What does it feel like to lose all of your earthly possessions in an instant? These questions boggled our minds as we watched the news and walked around the neighborhoods.
Too often, we place excessive emphasis on being comfortable and having fun. We purchase things we do not need just to add them to our closets. We desire what others possess, only to later put it in storage. Instant gratification is what we believe will bring us joy. We accumulate stuff we think will bring happiness. But does it really bring fulfillment?
The Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:17, Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (NIV)
My daughter and son were born 16 months apart. As most moms know, little ones who are that close in age can often compete with one another.
Many, many years ago, I gave them each a handful of potato chips on a napkin. My three-year-old son quickly sized up the situation and, with discontentment in his voice, said, “Hey, she has more than me!”
Knowing the piles were about even and not wanting him to compare and be ungrateful, I kindly said, “You both have the same amount. You are not getting anymore.”
He looked up, disappointed and annoyed, then smashed his potato chips with his hand. Seeing the multitude of pieces in front of him, he said, “There! Now we are even!”
Unfair and Even are often in the eye of the beholder!
When we are forced to live without the comforts in life that we often take for granted, the experience can spawn a fresh appreciation for our daily needs. Living without water, electricity, or the security of home or car makes life slow down, causing us to focus more on what is really important.
Where do you put your hope? Isaiah 40:31 says, but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)
If you spend any time with children, you may hear phrases such as “that’s not fair,” “she has more,” or “why can’t I do that?” Life does not always seem fair, and, quite frankly, sometimes life is NOT fair. We need to teach our children that our hope is not in this world or in our material possessions. Those things can be taken away; they can disappoint us. Children and adults alike need to understand that our hope is not in our belongings, worldly good, or comfort. In
the blink of an eye, all that we know, love, and hold onto can be removed. However, we will never lose the hope that we have in Christ. Psalm 31:24 says, Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (NIV) Likewise, Psalm 33:20 exclaims, We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. (NIV)
Our faith and trust in the Lord can never be washed away in a storm. God will provide, encourage, support, love, and never leave us. Even when life gets turned upside down or when we seem to float in a sea of despair. God’s Word is eternal and never changing. He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4 NIV)
His love endures forever, and He will never let us down! God is our provider, our comforter, savior, lover, and friend. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
The world describes contentment as a feeling of quiet happiness and satisfaction. However, I teach my children and grandchildren that contentment is living in the moment with Christ without unrealistic expectations for others or for things to fill us up. Contentment is not found by reaching back for what was lost in our yesterdays or reaching for what we hope will be in our tomorrow.
Contentment is living fully with what is right in front of us and truly seeing the gift of every moment God has given.
Carolyn Joy is a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent, mother of three married children, and Nonna to eleven grandchildren. She serves in her church and helps lead a women’s Bible study in her community.
She’s also a published author. The Overflow of the Heart and Let Your Heart Overflow with Joy are both devotional journals that encourage scripture memorization and writing prayers. Her fiction novel, Out of the Grey Zone, demonstrates God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
Living a Holyistic Life
FASTING: WAITING FOR ANSWERS FROM GOD?BY MELISSA KESSLER, INHC, MA
You may think of fasting as a diet word, which makes sense because it’s all over the place these days: 8-hour fasting, intermittent fasting, five days of normal eating and two days of calorie restriction, alternate day fasting —the options go on and on. Many people follow one of these fasting plans for the purpose of “dieting,” or better said, to lose weight. That’s not what we’re talking about today. Instead, today I want to delve into fasting for the purpose of hearing from God. Let me explain.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24 NIV)
Before I fully understood what fasting and prayer were all about, I was trying out a raw food diet to see how it could help me heal some health concerns. A raw food diet means eating everything raw— vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds; basically, the only things you can eat are raw. It was amazing, and not only did it heal me physically, but I began to realize Holy Spirit’s power was undeniably present. When you can’t eat much, it gives you plenty of time to speak to God. I had no idea this would happen by changing my diet.
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
(1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV)
You know that feeling when someone walks into a room, and you can feel their energy? That’s what this was like. There was someone with me at all times; I almost felt like I was in a different place—maybe this was a peek into heaven. As I was following this raw vegan lifestyle, I noticed it wasn’t only healing my physical ailments but that my life, which needed much change, was also starting to look different. Having this powerful Holy Spirit presence was exactly what I needed. This may have been the first time I really understood what Jesus said in John 14:26: “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” (NIV)
Years later, after becoming a stronger Christian and researching fasting and prayer, I decided again to fast. This time, it wasn’t with health intentions but spiritual ones. And what happened was life-changing. My life needed answers, and giving up certain foods gave me space and time to be with God to find them. These answers didn’t come from the world or my controlling mind—they came from God Himself.
How do I know this? Because the answers I received were nothing I would ever have agreed to or decided on my own. God works in funny ways sometimes, but He is the only one who knows our paths. “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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV)
Fasting to get answers from Him absolutely takes trust, faith, and consistency.
I’m sure you’re asking, How do you fast? For how long? Are you starving? or, What does this all mean? I know, because I had plenty of questions before I started doing it myself.
Instead of scaring you away, I want you to know that you can choose how you want to fast. The more you do it, the easier it gets to sacrifice things and foods you normally “can’t live without.” I’ll admit, I’ve always been that “all-in” kind of person, so when first starting, I went straight for only fruits and vegetables for 21 days. Again, don’t be scared—you can choose what you fast from.
Here are a few ways of fasting that many Christians follow:
n The Daniel Fast. This lasts 21 days and is a primarily vegan diet. (Daniel 10:3)
n A 3-day water and food fast (Esther 4:16)
n Fasting from all food during certain periods/days of the week (Luke 18:12)
n Eliminating Netflix, alcohol, fiction books, or social media. (John 15:2)
Fasting humbles your soul, as King David said in Psalm 69:10. As you fast, remember that more important than what you fast from is understanding the purpose behind the sacrifice. Fasting is all about removing things from your life that take your eyes off God and making extra space so you can hear Him speaking into your life.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)
Melissa is a wife and mom of tween and teen boys who are a huge inspiration in her life. She is a best-selling author and now leads retreats to help women find rest and stillness amidst the busy lives they live so they can experience a peace that surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:7) She has been practicing holistic health for about ten years, practices Christian meditation, and lives according to the Word of God. Learn more from Melissa on all social media platforms @stillwellnessmeditation
I am so incredibly thankful for Women World Leaders.
This ministry has been instrumental in my walk with the Lord and my healing. I have been honored to serve alongside women who are passionate about empowering God’s girls. The Voice
CHANGE YOUR STORY
What Happens When You Stop Believing?BY KIRSTIN LEIGH
Whatdo you do when you stop believing that “all things are possible”? That things will really change? That your life will change?
What do you do when you lose hope? Will God understand? Is it okay?
Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Maybe not out loud, but in the depths of your soul, the hidden places in your heart? I know I have.
What happens when your prayers seemingly go unanswered? Or what about when you feel opposition on every side or when every door is closed? When the enemy seems closer than God?
These are the questions that linger in the air when we can’t sleep at night. They are the questions that, as Christians, we don’t like to admit have run through our minds. But for most of us—if we’re honest—at least one of them has.
We remind ourselves that God will never leave us or forsake us—that He is our ever-present help in time of need. He is our refuge. He is our strength!
We know the scriptures. But sometimes they feel so far away.
I’ve clung to Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 46:1, and Isaiah 41:10 like they were air. I’ve also heard, read, and recited them out loud when they sounded hollow. And I’ve listened to that voice in my head whisper saying, “You’re a liar. A hypocrite.” I used to think that voice was me. Thank God I now know that voice is NOT me. It is the voice of the enemy.
The Bible warns us to be alert and of sober mind because our enemy roams around like a prowling lion looking for whom he can devour. (See 1 Peter 5:8) He is a strategist. And he knows us. He doesn’t have new tricks. He uses the same tactics to lure us into his deception every time, just in different scenarios.
When we have gone through a season of disappointment and loss, when we’re struggling with health issues, when our loved ones are hurting, when we are hurting, he knows (even if we don’t) that we are more available and “open” to listen to him, to entertain him. I wish this at least meant that when things were good we wouldn’t have to worry about him! But it doesn’t.
Do not fear, only believe.
(Mark 5:36 ESV)
Until Christ comes back, the enemy is near. However, in Luke 10:19, Jesus says, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (NIV) With Christ, through Christ, and because of Christ, we have the authority!
“Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world,” is true, whether we feel like it is or not. (See 1 John 4:4) God IS our ever-present help in time of need, whether we see Him helping or not. Like the Bible talks about in Isaiah 43:19, God will make a way where there seems to be no way. He will open our heart and mind to new possibilities—IF we let Him.
Are you familiar with Matthew 13:15? It states, For the hearts of these people are hardened, and their ears cannot hear, and they have closed their eyes—so their eyes cannot see, and their ears cannot hear, and their hearts cannot understand, and they cannot turn to me and let me heal them. (NLT)
So how do we keep our hearts from being hardened when we’ve been betrayed and let down over and over? How do we “have faith like a child” when so much has happened in our life?
I ask you these questions—for they are the same ones I ask myself. Here are a few of my go-to tools and strategies.
1. Make scriptures personal and read them out loud. I proclaim them over my life and whoever I’m praying for.
2. Sing! Praise brings the “super” to the “natural.” (And God always thinks we sound beautiful.)
3. Play praise music throughout the house—even when no one is there.
4. Share stories of how God has come through in the past. (Not only does this stir up others’ faith, but it also stirs up ours.)
5. Do something for someone else. Check on a friend. Reach out to someone who is going through a hard time. Offer to do something for someone “just because.”
6. Take a prayer walk. I thank God out loud for everything I can think of.
Those are a few of my strategies. What are yours? What brings God close when He feels far away?
Knowing the answer to this—and acting on it, will make you stronger than you were before. It will give you access to wisdom you’ve never had. It will make your relationship with God stronger than it has ever been. And that… will CHANGE YOUR STORY.
After running away from her dreams and battling addictions for over a decade, Kirstin Leigh is now a best-selling author, speaker, actress, and the founder of The Change Your Story Workshop. She is passionate about empowering others to break free from strongholds and discover the masterpiece that lives within. To find out more about Kirstin or to purchase her books, you can visit: www.Kirstinleigh.com
For information or to enroll in The Change Your Story Workshop: www.thechangeyourstoryworkshop.com
CHASING BUTTERFLIES JOURNALS
Chasing Butterflies Into HeavenBY CONNIE VANHORN
I chose you. I wanted you. I appointed you. I set you where you are.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the father will give you.” (John 15:16 NIV)
No person can stop what God has destined and laid up for you. You are His chosen, the elect, and you have a great purpose.
Have you ever read a book or watched a movie where the angel came back to see the person in a relatable form? This is exactly how God has spoken to me through many great miracles.
About nine years ago, after I got saved, something magical happened inside my heart. An explosion of sorts. God radically changed me. That is the best way I can explain it. He changed everything about me. Of course, I still looked the same, but what was inside was now a new creation. The most radical and noticeable difference was my new set of eyes. I was finally able to see through an eternal perspective and see light in a dark world. He just had to show me how.
I often talk about “Chasing Butterflies.” I want to share what chasing butterflies means to me.
It was a beautiful fall day. The weather was incredible, and I was taking a nap in my car while my baby slept. I had the windows down; the only noise was the birds singing and the trees blowing in the wind. When I woke from my nap, I was amazed at the most beautiful blue butterfly sitting on my window. It just sat there in complete peace. It wasn’t startled or scared; it gave me minutes to observe, and I had never seen a butterfly that close up. That was the moment I started seeing butterflies with an eternal set of eyes.
God finds the most beautiful and precious way to draw us to Him. He knew I would need a constant reminder of my new life and His love for me. He knew I was weak, and this world is tempting and dark. He knew I would need something so sweet and powerful that would ultimately connect me to Him. So I began “Chasing Butterflies.” It was like I had been moving in slow motion through this life, and suddenly, I was on the move at great speed.
As time went by, butterflies were everywhere in my sight. My love for these beautiful creatures grew stronger by the day. At first, I thought they were just signs from God. He is so clever. He knew I would need a constant reminder to keep me on course. God showed me so many great miracles. So many I hope to share them all with you through this column. But there is one I would like to share today.
After I gave birth to my daughter, I had an IUD placed. An IUD is a form of contraception. I had the IUD for about a year, and it was fine. Then one day, I started to have a lot of pain on my left side. I went to the doctor, who ordered an ultrasound to find out why this was happening. The doctor told me my IUD had shifted into my uterus and needed to be removed that day.
I was in a season of struggling with my faith, wanting to believe God so badly but filled with so much doubt. I wanted to believe in all the miracles He was showing me. I wanted to believe He was real. But I had so many voices in my ear telling me the opposite—that my
IT WAS LIKE GOD AND I HAD A SECRET TOGETHER.
I WAS CHASING GOD, AND HE WAS CHASING ME.
butterflies were imaginary and a coincidence. The hardest part of believing in God was that I felt so undeserving. Why would God think I was so special?
The doctor removed my IUD. She told me I would need time to allow my body to heal before having it placed again. The procedure was quick, and I was able to leave and go about my day. I had plans to go to the mall afterward to pick up a few items. As I was walking through the mall, I was praying and talking to God. To be honest, I was doubting God.
Maybe it’s all in my head. Maybe God is not real. Maybe I’m crazy.
Then, as I was walking through the mall, I saw butterflies everywhere! I was awestruck at how butterflies were in every blink of my eye. As I was walking, the voices in my head were getting louder and louder, repeating,
You are not special. You are not important. You are not enough. It’s springtime, and that’s why butterflies are everywhere.
As I was walking, I suddenly felt that I needed to go to the restroom. The doctor explained that I would have bleeding and cramping for a couple of days. This is where it gets personal. As I walked into the restroom, my eyes filled with tears, my heart in despair, and I just wanted to hit the floor and cry. I felt so defeated and confused. I sat down on the toilet and I looked down. There it was. In blood. A perfectly painted butterfly with a cross in the middle.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. I sat there in complete amazement. I was so happy. Shocked. It was at that moment I told God that I believed Him,
and nothing could ever convince me otherwise. God gave me the most precious gift that day. A miracle. I will never doubt Him again. God is real and beautiful, and He loves me so much. He loves me so much that He gave me an impossible miracle to cling to during those moments of doubt. The rest of that story is that I never bled another drop. Not one drop. The entire world will try to convince me that God is not real, but I know differently. He revealed himself to me that day in the most miraculous way.
Blood represents life. And there is power in the precious blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus purged us and brought us back to God. Romans 5:9 reads, Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. (NRSVA) Every bondage and oppression will terminate in the blood. The blood of Jesus can pull down strongholds because whenever we invoke the blood of Jesus, since the life of the flesh is in the blood, we are invoking His very presence in our lives.
It’s the blood that Satan fears. Revelation 12:11 says, And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb. (KJV) The devil doesn’t want you to learn about the blood. He knows the real power is in the blood.
Before this planet was ever a thing, God had determined in His heart that He would send His Son to die on the cross for us. Yes, He died so
GOD WANTS ALL OF US TO KEEP OUR HEARTS AND MINDS ON THINGS ABOVE.
that we could live. How wonderful it is to trace the scarlet thread of the blood of Christ woven throughout the Bible and our lives today! How much more wonderful to experience its power personally. Yes, God thinks I am that special. Praise God for the blood of His Son! Our savior! It’s His blood that gives life, and He used blood to reveal Himself and His power to me.
After that day at the mall, butterflies became everything cherished and precious to me. It was like God and I had a secret together. I was chasing God, and He was chasing me.
God wants us to keep our eyes on Him until we reach heaven. He opened my eyes to the beautiful butterfly to light up my path and keep me on course. He wants us to stay heavenly-minded. God wants all of us to keep our hearts and minds on things above. God wants us to treasure the heart of heaven. Heaven is an invitation to be with Jesus, and I am so excited to chase butterflies until I reach His loving arms. Heaven is home, and heaven is where I long to be.
This beautiful ministry has given me hope. Sharing my most treasured stories and receiving love from women all over the world has restored something in me that was lost. I truly believe that
God loves me. I felt so lost and abandoned for a long time. But God reminded me that He still has plans for my life and will finish what He started. This is proof—what a miracle to be shared. God is so faithful. I can testify to that.
For years, I would write stories about God on sticky notes and leave them on my fridge and in the pages of my journals. I wrote down my vision. When we write down our vision, we give it more power. And here we are today—I’m writing for you. God will finish what He starts. He has a plan and a purpose for each of us. He doesn’t care how qualified or educated we are. He will give us everything we need to fulfill His mission. I had nothing to bring to the table when God called on me. Absolutely nothing. But He gave me the tools and resources I needed. He will give us just enough to stretch our faith and keep us relying on Him. My faith is concrete, but fear threatens to keep me in bondage. God wants us to trust Him. Let go of the fear by remembering what He’s already done. Trust Him!
All of these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God.
(Deuteronomy 28:2 NIV)
I feel the Holy Spirit every time I open each magazine. The reason why we are so adamant about sharing these stories with you is that the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. Voice of Truth magazine is a door of hope. A path for biblical truths to be shared and invitations for others to know the love of Christ Jesus our Savior. This is why we are alive, so that others may have the opportunity to know Him.Dianelli Snapp – Saluda, South Carolina
A FOCUS ON HIM
Reddish Egret – Distracted or Focused?PHOTO AND WRITING BY LILLIAN CUCUZZA
Affectionately known as One of the most entertaining birds to photograph is the Reddish Egret found only in coastal saltwater habitats. I see them regularly on the beach and tidal pools at Fort DeSoto in St. Petersburg, Florida. They are a large bird (up to 36” tall) with brassy red, long, flowing hair on their neck and head (earning them their moniker.) They are very energetic, foraging by dancing rapidly in shallow water, chasing anything that moves. As they run to and fro chasing fish, their long red hair flies in all directions, giving the appearance that they are scattered in their thoughts and unfocused. It makes me wonder how they
ever catch anything. But God, in His creative and intelligent design, gave them a 46-inch wingspan and large bill. When the egret raises its wings, it casts a shadow on the water to cut down on glare in order to spot the fish it is hunting. It then spears its prey with lightningfast strikes and deadly accuracy with its large pointed bill.
Even though the egret seems to be easily distracted and frenetic (his unkempt hair reminds me of Albert Einstein); looks can be deceiving. You can see in this photo how focused his eye is on the next meal. He is keeping his eye on the prize, with intensity, and blocking out every distraction. He has one job: catching and eating fish. Nothing else matters. He is a very proficient and successful hunter, known as the Tyrannosaurus Rex of the flats. His external appearance is a mess, but
GOD HAS GIVEN EACH OF US VARIOUS ABILITIES AND GIFTS TO BE USED FOR HIS GLORY.
internally he doesn’t care what others think. He keeps the main thing the main thing. He is not distracted at all; he is completely focused on his mission of catching and eating fish.
NOTHING DISTRACTED JESUS FROM HIS PURPOSE AND FATHER’S BUSINESS.
Jesus kept the main thing the main thing. He was completely focused on His mission while here on earth – doing God’s will and bringing His work of salvation to completion for all. When His parents were frantically searching for 12-year-old Jesus for three days after the Festival of the Passover, they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. His mother, Mary, scolded Jesus and let Him know how anxious and exasperated they were, So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business? But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them. (Luke 2:48-50 NKJV)
Jesus told His followers exactly what His mission and Father’s business was in John 6:38-40, For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. (NIV)
Nothing distracted Jesus from His purpose and Father’s business. He kept the main thing the main thing. Just as the Reddish Egret was totally focused on catching and eating fish, Jesus was fully engrossed in
doing the will of His Father. He became the greatest fisher of men, and taught others to be fishers of men for the kingdom of God. Matthew 4:18-20 states, And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” They immediately left their nets and followed Him. (NKJV)
That is what we are called to be: fishers of men, women, and children. We need to stay focused and not get distracted. It doesn’t matter what people see on the outside. It’s what is on the inside that matters -what is in our heart and the actions we take. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. What we do and what we say speaks volumes about us, our testimony, and our relationship with Jesus! We must stay focused on Him and guard our hearts.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.
(Proverbs 4:23-27 NIV)
Stay focused and keep your eyes upon Jesus so you can be a fisher of men for Jesus!
Lillian’s passions are nature photography and serving God. She is a best-selling author, award-winning photographer, and a regular contributor to Voice of Truth magazine.
Lillian uses her photography and writing talents to glorify and honor God for His beautiful creation.
Through a Mother’s Eyes
Sunset with a PurposeBY DIANE CHEVELDAYOFF
If you have followed my past articles in Voice of Truth, you have learned of my family’s love for sunsets. We find such beauty and meaning in God’s nature, especially His sunsets, which show His magnificent glory uniquely every day. The sunset pictured here not only showcases God’s glory through nature, but it also reminds me of the new beginnings that God has orchestrated for our middle daughter.
As a mom in my season as the Mother of the Bride, I found yet another instance when God continues to teach us through life events. God repeatedly reminds me that He’s not done with me; I know I’ll keep learning and never arrive at a point of spiritual completeness on this side of heaven. Praise God that because He loves us so much, He continues to keep our best interest in the forefront—even when we don’t see it at the time! There are lessons in all experiences; we just need to pause our busy lives long enough to ask God to show us. As the Bible instructs in 2 Timothy 3:16, All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. (NLT)
Traditionally, weddings include a large family gathering at a time and place convenient for loved ones. However, for
today’s younger generation, the day may be celebrated more intimately, perhaps by traveling to an exotic destination or timed with a much loved season—or, as in my daughter’s case—the sunset. But although wedding trends have changed and our children might desire a different wedding than we envisioned for them, the most important role we, as parents, have at this time of our children’s lives remains the same—to offer our love and support. While it’s natural to want to hold on to tradition, and it’s not always an easy process to accept change, seeing our child’s beaming smile is a joyous outcome for any parent.
Sometimes change requires that we let go in more ways than one. For me, letting go of my expectations for a traditional wedding for my daughter as she and her fiance chose to celebrate with a destination wedding was difficult. But letting go of my daughter and the type of relationship we had as she was growing up was also a very tough reality.
But, with God’s help, I achieved my conscious decision to support her unconditionally.
In both planning and executing the wedding day, God guided me to allow the engaged couple to make their own decisions, reminding me that our role as parents has and will continue to change. As our children grow, although we are still important influences, we are no longer responsible for controlling the outcome of our children’s lives and choices. Some people handle this transition gracefully, but I highly doubt it is without great effort. One of my husband’s and my favorite sayings we have had to apply often is “Appreciate the similarities and respect the differences.” No one will ever agree one hundred percent with anyone else, even with our spouse or children, but with God’s help, we can learn to respect and support each other.
And although the relationship with our children changes when they get married, some things remain the same. Just as my husband and I prayed for our little girl—that the right godly man would come along and be her knight in shining armor and the
spiritual leader in her life—we now continue to pray for the two of them as husband and wife. We trust that God will bring them together stronger as they, too, learn and grow through inevitable life changes. Deuteronomy 31:6 reminds us, So be strong and courageous! “Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (NLT) We now continually pray that they will both look up for answers and not out to the world, listening to the Holy Spirit in all decisions as they build their life together. As Jesus says in John 14:17, “He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him because he lives with you now and later will be in you.” (NLT)
As the sun set on my daughter’s wedding, the sun also set on a previous chapter of life, not only for us but also for them. But even as one stage ended, God’s glory shone brightly on the new beginnings of their life together. Psalm 91 assures us that God is in control. And as we deal with changes, we can be reminded, from Psalm 91:14-16, The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”
As Christian parents, as difficult as it is to let go, we can always trust that God’s love for our children far exceeds our love for them. And by holding onto that, we can celebrate with them, even as we all continue to grow and develop into who God created us to be. All for His glory!
Diane is a professional meeting planner with over 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry - planning, contracting, and executing meetings and events worldwide. (www. ExecutiveDiamond.com) She and her husband Les have been married 31 years, have three beautiful adult girls, and work together in their ministry, HALO - Highway, Healing Arts Life’s Oxygen. (www.HALOHighway.com) Although she never envisioned being a writer, Diane loves the impact made on lives in the various ministries of Women World Leaders and World Publishing and Productions.
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you. (Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT)
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HOLY HUSHBY 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 Voice of Truth), we see this thirty-something-year-old city girl steal away into the wilderness to search the heart of God. Along the way, Rebekka is introduced to unexpected characters who seem to be leading her on a journey of discovery.
We are pleased to offer this final installment of Holy Hush.
“He was trying to tell me that my faith in Christ goes deeper than my fear, my hurts, and my losses, and it’s there that I rest in this peaceful holy hush.
When my soul cries out in the chaos, I find my greatest joy in the powerful love of Jesus.”
“Home is where the heart is.” Aaron’s voice warms her heart. She looks around and realizes it’s a memory of when they first started dating.
Rebekka climbs on the rock and sits cross-legged as she waits for Felicity, but what’s taking her so long?
Rebekka closes her eyes and inhales for four counts, holds for seven, and exhales for eight. It is a routine that helps calm her when she becomes anxious about Felicity’s lack of time management, something she was never really good with, often causing her to run late. Today was no exception.
“Deep Calls to Deep. Deep breathing always helps calm and relax you.” Rebekka tells herself.
The warmth of the sunset and the aroma of the sweetgrass begin to fade away. Rebekka opens her eyes and finds herself sitting cross-legged on her bed. Her Bible is opened to Psalm 42. The obituary picture of her husband Aaron and sister Felicity is tucked in its pages.
“I don’t know why the two of you were in the car that rainy night, but you were. I miss you both terribly. I love you both so very much and miss you. Aaron, you were my love. Felicity, you were my strength through the cancer treatments.” Rebekka grabs her chest. “Hush.” She bows her head and prays, “Lord, thank you for giving me the strength to forgive and accept the things I can’t change and the courage to move forward with living, even when I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.”
by the night sky. The glass is still cracked. The love note he penned is still secured in the corner.
With God, all things are possible. His infinite possibilities go beyond our darkest fears, deepest hurts, and greatest loss. Allow your faith in Him to dig deeper than all of these, and rest in His holy hush — that will carry you into your greatest joy. His love is more powerful than we can ever imagine. All my love ~ Aaron
“Yes, dear?” Rebekka’s mother enters her daughter’s bedroom.
“Where did this picture come from?” Rebekka asks.
Her mother sits on the edge of the bed and shares the story with her daughter again. “The night that Felicity and Aaron were killed in the car accident, they were on their way home with your birthday gifts. That was one of the gifts that was in the car.” Her mother rests her hand on her daughter’s leg while Rebekka processes the news.
“When was that?” Rebekka begins to cry.
“Two months ago, dear.” Her mother replies.
Rebekka sets the picture back on the nightstand next to her Bible and her bottle of medication.
Rebekka exhales hard, closes her Bible, and rests it on her nightstand.
There. There it is!
“MOM!” Rebekka yells in a panic as she grabs the picture resting there in its frame—Aaron surrounded
Deep breathing always helps calm and relax you.
“It’s time.” Rebekka smiles and stands. Her mother is a little confused.
“Oh, honey, you breathe every day. That’s why you’re still here.” Her mother tries to console her.
“Mom, I can’t expect you to understand the depths of where I am. Shoot, I don’t even understand it. But I need to go back to counseling again and figure out this dance with grief I have.”
Rebekka points to the picture that Aaron left for her. “He was trying to tell me that my faith in Christ goes deeper than my fear, my hurts, and my losses, and it’s there that I rest in this peaceful holy hush. soul cries out in the chaos, I find my greatest joy in the powerful love of Jesus. back out there—among the living. It’s time, Mom! It’s
What We Learn
time for me to live freely in the life God has called me to live, even with all this other….” Rebekka trembles at the memories, “all this other stuff that was meant to destroy me. God will use it for His glory. I can’t sit around in the dark anymore. Help me. Please. Schedule another counseling session. It’s urgent.
Rebekka’s mother stands and hugs her daughter. For the first time since the fatal accident, Rebekka feels like a person again instead of an empty shell of flesh going through the motions of existence. Her mother believes, beyond a shadow of a doubt, she will have her daughter back among the living soon. Very soon.
is not an easy road to travel. we will all have to walk, and we all handle it differently. For some, it can literally destroy them. Others have traveled it so often it’s like a familiar friend.
Rebekka was so devastated by the loss of her two closest loved ones, her husband and her sister, that she became locked up within herself. Thankfully she found hope to carry on within the first three months post-trauma. After that three-month marker, she would become at risk of developing PTSD, which could alter her future on many levels.
While Rebekka’s grief came from a car accident, over twenty different types of trauma can lead to debilitating side effects. Professional counseling can help assist people who have moved beyond that three-month marker. We have a family member who wasn’t ready for counseling, but years later, when she nearly lost her children to her alcoholism, she realized she needed help.
Some believe it’s easier to avoid the stages of grief and move on without facing the steps. But then they wonder why certain triggers cause them to be overly angry, defensive, or ‘snap,’ even at the littlest things.
In Holy Hush, we have been walking with Rebekka as she goes through the steps of denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. She needed to forgive to be able to move out of her state of depression and into a place of acceptance, allowing her, ultimately, to find her healing. How about you?
When you are faced with grief, my prayer is that you will remember Rebekka and reach out for help. First, ask God and trust Him to provide the right person to love and care for you during this difficult period. Then, connect with a trained professional who is equipped to help you learn more, discover more, and even become more.
Allowing God to guide you through the healing process and intentionally taking the steps He provides will enable you to experience His Holy Hush.
God will use it for His glory.
Stomp out human traffickingtogether we can
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.
...and support both missions with your purchase!
Kingdom Promise: Abundance, and a Hope, Future
Friendship and FaithBY KELLY WILLIAMS HALE
Oneof the biggest blessings in my life is friends with whom I can share “real” life—all the beautiful parts and the messy bits. To me, friendship is like a soft, comfortable blanket when you’re feeling low. Or a great upbeat song when you’re feeling excited.
Recently, I was talking with one of my blessings about life, relationships, and our walk with the Lord. With our busy lives, it’s difficult to meet up in person, so we often schedule “coffee dates” via a phone call. She is a wise friend, and I frequently take notes during our talks, opening the Notes app on my phone to capture her nuggets of wisdom!
During our conversation, we began talking about our children and faith. My oldest son, Dallas, who just turned 25, recently moved back home for a few months. He’s experiencing what many young people his age do: uncertainty. I really shouldn’t relegate this question to “people his age,” though. We all tackle this question from time to time when we’re unsure of “what’s next.”
(PROVERBS 27:9 NLT)
THE HEARTFELT COUNSEL OF A FRIEND IS AS SWEET AS PERFUME AND INCENSE.
“Dallas is really struggling right now,” I said. “He feels like he should be farther along in his life, more settled at 25.”
In a nutshell, his faith is wavering.
Have you ever experienced this?
As believers, we know in our heads that God is for us. We read that He’s working things out. (Romans 8:28) But boy, can our feelings and thoughts be filled with doubt, particularly when we are faced with tough life decisions. We just want someone to tell us what to do!
It’s during these moments that our trust in the Lord is tested. Trusting can be so difficult when our human self wants a guarantee. But the very definition of faith is believing what we don’t see yet. The Bible is full of examples of this. God
told Abraham he would be the father of nations, yet he had no children and was also a very old man. Noah built a ginormous boat, even though people thought he was crazy! Faith requires trust.
DO NOT BE AFRAID; DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED.
(DEUTERONOMY 31:8 NIV)
But during my conversation with my friend, my definition of faith was expanded.
“Faith is being fully dependent on God,” my friend said.
Wow. That hit me in a new way.
We are called to be dependent on God—when we can see the road ahead and, more importantly, when we can’t. But how often do we get caught up in feeling anxious for answers and long for a detailed map?
Many of us experienced this type of anxiety during the pandemic when the world turned upside down. People lost their jobs, lost loved ones, and even became home-schooling moms. It was an unpredictable time, and for many, it was scary. Faith was in a full-fledged war with the fear of the future. Relying on God was our only option. As we faced new challenges, we were forced to be fully dependent on His promise to never leave or forsake us. The Bible says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
(Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
Although we never know what the future holds, I do know who holds our future: Jesus—the friend who is closer than a brother. (Proverbs 19:24) Jesus wants to be our most treasured relationship. His deepest desire is that we share our life with Him—the good, the bad, and the ugly. He’s never surprised by the messy bits.
And what is incredible about our relationship with God is that He is faithful. He keeps His promises. Just look at us now, exactly three years after the COVID-19 lockdown. The future was extremely uncertain back then. We went through challenges many of us have never experienced, and perhaps your life looks different now. But when we place our trust in God, we will continue to see that we can fully depend on Him through thick and thin.
I know my son Dallas will be okay. I reminded him that resistance (opposition) is necessary to build strength. God does allow opposition in our lives, using it to build our faith muscle so that we will fully depend on Him.
And I know I will be okay, too, because I trust God—with whom I have my most treasured relationship. But along the way, I’m thankful He has also put friends in my life to remind me of His faithfulness and point me back to Him in all situations. I know you have those friends, too—you are reading their words as you hold this magazine in your hands. If you haven’t yet connected personally with us, visit our website at womenworldleaders.com—we are looking forward to doing life with you—both the beautiful parts and the messy bits!
Kelly Williams Hale is an author, speaker, and coach. Through inner healing and intimacy work, Kelly teaches women how to get past proving their worth and how to fall in love with God. You are invited to download her free guide: You are enough. 5 steps to slay self-doubt and start living your best life at www.thebebravelife.com.
FOR YOU HAVE NEED OF ENDURANCE, SO THAT WHEN YOU HAVE DONE THE WILL OF GOD, YOU MAY RECEIVE WHAT WAS PROMISED.
(HEBREWS 10:36 NASB)
CONSIDER IT PURE JOY, MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WHENEVER YOU FACE TRIALS OF MANY KINDS, BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES PERSEVERANCE. LET PERSEVERANCE FINISH ITS WORK SO THAT YOU MAY BE MATURE AND COMPLETE, NOT LACKING ANYTHING.
(JAMES 1:2-4 NIV)
I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
EL ROI…THE GOD WHO SEES ME
Eyes Open to His LoveBY LISA HATHAWAY
The vastness of God’s love continues to blow my mind. I often wonder that I’m still amazed by all God does—His control and generosity should no longer take me by surprise. More often now, I find myself saying, “Of course He did.” Intentionally, I strive to see God in everything that happens, which keeps me in the posture of awe. When we remain expectant of what He will do, we will never lose that childlike wonder. And it never gets old to see how God shows up in the most amazing ways.
One overwhelming aspect of God’s love is that the God of the universe SEES you and me.
No matter what we are walking through—no matter the struggles, battles, sadness, grief, trauma, and even beautiful things—He sees us! He knows and calls you by name. He orchestrates and oversees your challenges to increase your faith. And through our hardships, He allows us to show the world our Christian response. Will we choose to glorify God or choose to complain? It is human nature, and the devil’s call, for us to constantly complain about how hard life is, but being kingdom-minded can change our perspective. Remembering that God is with us, sees us, and is working through each circumstance gives us a godly perspective and allows us to walk boldly through the storms of life. And how we walk shines a light on God’s glory for all the world to see.
WHEN I LOOK AT THE MORNING SKY AND SEE THE SUNRISE THAT IS ONLY FROM MY HEAVENLY FATHER, MY SPIRIT IS REMINDED THAT HIS MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY DAY.
When I look at the morning sky and see the sunrise that is only from my heavenly Father, my spirit is reminded that His mercies are new every day. Lamentations 3:22-23 (ESV) says, The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. His steadfast love for us is breathtaking. It gives us His purpose for our lives.
Keep your eyes open, intentionally looking to see God. He is present in all things around us. When we walk through some of the hardest things
in life, He is there. Our flesh rises to tell us that we will not get through this storm, but God whispers in our ear, “Just walk. Walk in me. I have all this figured out for you. It is not yours to figure out.” He will not leave us or forsake us. God is planting us in the rich soil of His love, but it’s our choice if we choose to be watered and fed by Him. And trust me when I tell you, there is nothing better than the love of God.
The history of His faithfulness sustains us, teaching us that we can depend on Him no matter our circumstances—because we have seen it come to pass. Psalm 42:6 (MSG) says, When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you. Things might not look how we want or think they should be, but God is the ultimate author of our story. And His ways are so much better than ours. It’s up to us to trust Him in ALL things. So, stand firm in His love, and He will guide you. Walk in His YES! God sees you and knows you—every ounce of you. He created you from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. How beautiful is His creation! Breathe in His goodness. Breathe in His love for you. See His hand in your life.
See God for who He is—because He sees exactly who you are and who He created you to be.
Lisa Hathaway resides in Lexington, NC, with her husband, Everett, and their children. As a special needs mom, breast cancer survivor, and survivor of a tragic car accident, suffering has been intertwined in her story, and she yearns for others to experience God’s sweetness through their difficulties. Lisa has an MBA and is pursuing her Clinical and Mental Health Counseling degree. She works at The Oaks Therapeutic Community and is an integral part of the WWL leadership team.
Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit?
Or whither shall I flee from Thy presence?
(Psalm 139:7 KJV)
At some point you must come to a realization where you no longer feel the need to run from who you are. You must come to be comfortable and at ease with the woman you are. You have to come to love the skin that you are in because in your own skin you are fierce, fearless, and powerful.
There is no place you can go where God does not already know because nothing we do takes God off guard. There is no place where you will go that you will not have to be you. The place does not change who you are, it just commands you to show up to your greatness. To run from God is to run from who you really are authentically. To run from God is to always be chasing who you think you are versus who you really are. To run from God means you have no peace with yourself.
Sister, be still today. Be still in God and come to know that there is no place that is better or more peaceful than being whole and complete in God. His personal knowledge of you completes you unconditionally.
Dr. Jia Conway
RED CARPET READY
Was That in the Script?BY DEANN ALAINE
When I recently debuted as a director, everyone on set knew I was a Christian director. Through comedic means, I let my cast and crew know that coarse conversation and cursing were not allowed— after all, that is the standard for believers. Ephesians 4:29 says Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. (NLT) To get my point across, I put a urinal on set, which I named Mr. Potty Mouth, and let everyone know that they would be making a financial contribution to Mr. Potty Mouth for verbal unpleasantries.
See, I am a Christian, and the set is my mission field. Some people on set knew Jesus, while others didn’t. I needed to set a precedent early! My actors and crew learned to respond to my voice and cues. Whether I was laying down rules or yelling “Quiet on set” or “Action,” my actors and crew trusted the words of my mouth. I was the director.
But Jesus is my Director. And each scene or situation in my day should be a reflection of the script He has given me, His Word.
BUT THEN ONE DAY…Jesus, the King of Glory, had the audacity to tell me that I wasn’t following His script, that the meditation of my heart STANK! WHAT?!?! He led me to read Psalm 19:14 May these words of my mouth [a prayer wanting to be blameless
with a pure heart] and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. (NIV) I have been guilty many times of saying, “The Lord knows my heart.” Umm, yeah. It’s because He knows my heart that He’s convicting me in the first place for having a bad attitude! Was I finally ready to come clean with my Director, my Shepherd? Nope. I wanted to be a smelly sheep a bit longer.
“How can you say I have a bad attitude? I mean seriously. Is my attitude really that bad?”
Being Red Carpet Ready really represents the hard work of conquering wrong mindsets, slaying that bad attitude, and following the script! Together, my Director and I will certainly make a great comedy that will hopefully attract people who need to experience the movie A Day in the Life of DeAnn Alaine. By the way, my attitude did change. I have the GREATEST Director…I’m sure the queen-size chocolate bar helped, too. Just sayin’.
Just trust me. If you’re asking Jesus that question like I did, YES, an attitude adjustment is in order. I heard my Director say, “Cut,” and remembered that His Word is a sword, and one of its jobs is to CUT.
Here’s what’s nuts; I wanted an attitude change, but I had to stop throwing my own hissy fit to be able to hear His voice! How was I supposed to do that?
Philippians 2:2 says Then fill me with joy by having the same attitude [as Jesus], sharing the same love, being united in spirit, and keeping one purpose in mind. (ISV)
Everything you just read is the antidote for how to have a change of attitude. I know it’s a lot, but I can begin my heart change by starting with the FIRST step: praying, “Lord, please forgive me for having a bad attitude. Fill me with joy.”
A bad attitude HATES joy.
How could I not remember that? I’m a comedian! I perform clean comedy out in the world where I see bad attitudes everywhere! People all around me are living out their own scripts. I’ve got to be different! Joy and laughter are powerful tools.
DeAnn Alaine is a comedienne whose mandate from the Lord is to bring joy to the world through stand-up comedy. She is the CEO of ComeeDeAnn Productions LLC and host of the award-winning carwash comedy show, Modwash Moments with DeAnn Alaine on SOLWIN TV. Visit www.deannalaine.com today!
“Lord, please forgive me for having a bad attitude. Fill me with joy.”
MUSINGS ON THE BOOK OF JOHNBY CONNIE HECKER
John 3:22-26, NIV
After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized. Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. (This was before John was put in prison.) An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
Some time has passed. We learn that cousin John the Baptist has continued baptizing, and at the same time, Jesus is now also baptizing. So, what is the purpose of these two baptisms? John’s disciples see it as a competition. The scripture question says the issue is purification. Baptism represents an act of purification. John answers his disciples, explaining that the purification of baptism is nothing unless it comes from heaven. I hear that the ritual only has power as God Himself gives it to a man. They have come to John seeking The Messiah. John is a great preacher and witness but not the One. He is more like the best man to Jesus, the bridegroom. John wants the focus to turn to Jesus.
n Am I following this same way?
n When I have the privilege of being a witness of and for Christ, am I willing to step out of the spotlight and allow God to work in that person’s heart?
n Or am I craving the attention for myself?
Oh, horror of horror! Step out of the way and allow God to have center stage! I can stand behind or to the side or even drop to my knees in prayer. But Lord, please eliminate the imperfect in me and keep me from standing in another’s line of sight and blocking their view of You! Let my life be so transparent that others can see through me to you. Let me be as a scrim on the stage which, when lit by You, reveals Your Holy Spirit and captures their attention. Father, even further, please raise the scrim of me from the stage of my life and reveal yourself clearly, and draw your people to You.
To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him’. The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less.”
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted it has certified that God is truthful.
After this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and baptized.
For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
John very quickly summarizes what happened at the start, the kickoff, of Jesus’ ministry. It was very powerful, so much so that those seekers who had come to hear from John were now identifying themselves with Jesus, and John the Baptist said it was a good thing. Needs were being met, and God was showing His people they were not forgotten. Jesus spent some time out in the country. We are not told the details of how He spent His days, be we do see the effect: all were coming to Him.
Jesus spent time out in the countryside, and all were coming to Him.
n Have I gone out to seek Jesus?
n Do I understand that He is available to me in the wilderness of my emotions?
n Or am I craving the attention for myself?
He is there for me to come to Him. He wants to spend time with me. Even in the wilderness, Jesus talks about heaven, for He wants me there with Him.
n Jesus speaks truth with authority. Am I listening?
n Am I in that wilderness?
n What is my wilderness that I need to listen for Him in?
Listen for and to Him. Seek Him out. Jesus has truth we need to hear. The Spirit of God is in Jesus without limit.
All who believe in Jesus have life eternally.
Connie Hecker, MFA, is a Scenic Designer currently teaching at Liberty University. She is mom, stepmom, and grandmother to 13. Her “first career” was in interior and industrial design. Her “second” was as Manager of Operations and Maneuvers (note initials) in her extended family. Her ‘third’ is as a professor and she looks forward to what God has in store as her “fourth” someday.
Listen for and to Him. Seek Him out. Jesus
has truth we need to hear.
The Spirit of God is in Jesus without limit.
Cinnamon Sugar ToastBY AMANDA JACKMAN
This morning I woke up craving toast. Call it a pregnancy craving or nostalgia, but I found myself putting a little bit of cinnamon and sugar on top, the way my dad always used to. My children saw this new revelation and asked what in the world I was doing putting sugar on toast. They had never seen it before. So I let them try a bite and had the chance to tell them about their grandpa and how he used to make this toasty treat.
Unfortunately, my children will never meet my dad on this side of heaven. He passed away while I was in the hospital, hours after I gave birth to my oldest son. It has been just over six years since the passing of the earthly father I was given, and I really miss him.
But today, over this sugary breakfast, I am thanking God for the man He picked to raise me. My dad was a loving, respectable man with the most special eyes that exuded kindness. He taught me many valuable lessons I think about often.
And although many of my dad’s old-school one-liners are not at all appropriate to share, looking back at them, I can see their deeply rooted biblical principles. For example, when I was first dating, my dad talked about keeping myself pure. Now there is plenty of scripture about remaining pure, but none use the analogy of a cow like my dad did.
My father’s wisdom has helped shape my life, and I am honored to share a few of his lessons with you.
No amount of money is worth having if you cannot be a blessing to others. So, give for the sake of giving, not for praise or attention. Give in secret, doing it for the gesture. Don’t be boastful. Give because our Father has called us to give. Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6 NIV)
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and everything is small. Worry is overwhelming and all-consuming. The “small stuff” is never worth the brainpower we give it.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)
To do a good job, you need to have the right tools. Sometimes cheap tools lead to a cheaply done job, but the right tools allow you to get the job done with excellence.
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:11 NIV)
One day my earthly father will greet me at the gates of heaven and introduce me to our heavenly Father. Sometimes it’s the little things that remind me to be thankful for all the lessons my earthly father taught me, setting the foundation for my life in eternity.
Today, my reminder came in the form of cinnamon sugar toast.
A Call to Writers
WE’RE GATHERING AUTHORS FOR TWO BOOKS IN 2023. IS GOD NUDGING YOU RIGHT NOW?
CONTACT US AND SEE HOW GOD MIGHT USE YOUR STORY! EMAIL
FOR MORE INFORMATION.
JOURNEY WITH JESUS: NUGGETS FROM THE GOSPEL OF MARK
Faith in ActionBY REV. LISA MORRISON
Whenwas the last time you put your faith into action?
In order to put our faith into action, we must believe Jesus is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do. Faith moves Jesus to act.
In our story found in Mark 2:1-12, we witness four friends put their faith into action. They’re so convinced Jesus can heal their paralyzed friend they do not turn away in disappointment when the crowded front door blocks their access to Jesus. They are persistent in their faith. They carry their paralyzed friend to the roof, dig a hole in it, and lower him down to Jesus. This is faith in action!
What is telling in this act of faith is that when the man is lowered, Jesus does not say, Get up. Take your mat and go home. Instead, he says, Son, your sins are forgiven. (v. 5) Why does Jesus say this? I thought the man was sick, not sinful. This is a most unexpected twist in the story. Who is this Jesus to be forgiving sins as only God can forgive sins? Has this man not blasphemed by saying he can do what only God can do?
IN ORDER TO PUT INTO ACTION, WE JESUS IS WHO AND CAN DO SAYS HE CAN MOVES JESUS
By Jesus saying to the paralytic his sins are forgiven, He is pointing out that sin is far more debilitating than any physical sickness could ever be. Jesus is also demonstrating that, beyond His ability to perform miracles of healing, He alone can offer the miracle of forgiveness.
Jesus chooses to perform this specific miracle publicly rather than privately so He can push His identity into the public arena. This heart-warming healing suddenly becomes a perilous confrontation over religious authority.
The religious leaders do not rejoice over this miraculous healing. They are more concerned that this healing takes place on the Sabbath, breaking their man-made law, which states no work which can wait until the following day is to be done on the Sabbath.
They think this Jesus cannot be their promised messiah since he breaks the Sabbath man-made oral tradition and claims to be God in His telling the man your sins are forgiven. Jesus knows what they are thinking.
We all have to answer the question: Who is this Jesus? If we believe He is God and want to be in relationship with Him and see Him move, then we need to put our faith into action just as the paralytic’s friends did. They didn’t let a crowded front door stop them. They persisted in reaching Jesus so their friend could be healed. It was their faith that caused Jesus to act.
Believe Jesus is God, put your faith into action, and experience what only Jesus can do!
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 has also served as Adjunct Instructor in the Religion Department at various educational institutions of higher learning. She holds two master’s degrees and a post graduate degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
Voice of Truth Stories
TOGETHER WE ARE WORLD CHANGERS
MEET CINDY HUGHES FROM CLEMMONS, NORTH CAROLINA
Isn’t it great that God is all about relationships, connections, and communication? Just think about it. After creating this beautiful world and all the beautiful plants and various animals, He wasn’t satisfied. The God of the universe desired relationships, so He created mankind. I can’t help but think that He’s pleased with Voice of Truth and Women World Leaders, because they are all about connecting women, bringing women from all walks of life from all over the world together to grow spiritually, and bringing hope and encouragement to those in need of all the above.
What a beautiful gift.
I was introduced to Voice of Truth through my daughter, Lisa Hathaway, who first wrote in the 4th quarter 2022 edition. She said, “Mom you’ve got to check out Voice of Truth.” And she gave me a copy. I have tremendously enjoyed reading and sharing these God stories.
As I write this article, I am preparing for a short-term mission trip to Egypt. I was there in 2020, right before COVID hit. My heart’s desire is to go into other countries, sharing the gospel of Christ with many who have never heard the name of Jesus. Many have been misled and misguided in their beliefs of how to get to heaven, and many are unsure that their eternity with Jesus is secure. Many believe their eternity is based on works or good efforts, so they live in fear they won’t make it to heaven. Our liaisons in the country work months in advance in preparation for the international project,
setting up home visits with unbelievers, schools, and groups we can share with depending on the country with their limitations and opportunities. It has been a true blessing to my life these past 15 years, and I am grateful God has given me this opportunity and privilege.
I was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020 and just last week had a new PET scan. I’m still in a “holding pattern” with it. God is using a daily targeted therapy chemo pill to treat the EGFR mutation I have. So, it continues to mean even more that I’m able to participate in these mission trips. I told God that I’ll go as long as my health permits. So, my friends, whether it’s here or on the other side of the world, and whether we feel our life is exciting or are sometimes just going through the motions, know that He loves you. He laid down His life for you. He desires that you snuggle into intimacy with Him, no matter the circumstances in your life.
Let His joy and peace overtake you, and let His Holy Spirit be your present help in times of trouble, need, or even on the mountaintop. May God bless and keep you, cause His face to shine upon you, and give you peace.
DAWN VAZQUEZ FROM PALM BEACH ISLAND, FLORIDA
Voice of Truth has provided a new voice for the story that is my journey.
From being bedridden for a year, praying til I had no voice and looking up happiness on YouTube, to being sick of being sick and now living as a two-time survivor of a terminal illness, it is not lost on me that I would not be here if it were not for the good graces of the Lord. This magazine, which promotes love for the Lord without censorship, has inspired me to create an even larger community of like-minded Christian women who don’t wish to be censored socially but rather proudly exclaim what their faith has done for them. I ask humbly and with full gratitude that you listen to my story and learn what God has done for me.
As a strong businesswoman, I went from six figures to no figures because of a lifestyle circumstance versus a lifestyle choice. While this circumstance could cause others to question their very belief in God, I saw this as a call to arms and dedicated my life to being a spiritual warrior: a servant to God. The message I spread is that while we might not always know how our story begins, we will have a say in how our story is to be told, proclaiming that only God knows the ending.
In the case of my illness, I could’ve allowed fears to scare me into submission, but I remember saying to a cousin,
“If I’m truly a believer in the Lord Almighty, and truly giving my fears over to him, then it is only by way of this true faith in HIM, that I will be given a new hope!”
So, that’s exactly what I did; I chose faith over fear and committed to sharing my story with others, not to impress them but to express what truly is possible through God. I was given 2-5 years to live. Now, with tears in my eyes, I’m writing this a decade after being diagnosed! It’s truly a miracle. No ghost writers need apply!
With each story read in Voice of Truth, your voice gets louder and HIS voice is heard through OUR words! And this is how we create the change we all seek!
Dawn Vazquez is a former model with over 13 years in Development Construction Finance, a Photography Business, and a FB Live talk show, ‘Real Talk w/ Dawn.’ She is also the founder of Women Empowering in Real Time, speaking to and encouraging women to revisit their faith, walk in His Word, and prove that through God, all things are possible and everything is fixable. Dawn can be reached on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ dawnrawphotos?mibextid=LQQJ4d
MARY ENGLUND MURPHY – CENTRAL FLORIDA
I first heard about Women World Leaders about three years ago from my dear friend Diana Brown, prayer warrior extraordinaire and writer for WWL. I have known Diana for many years and worked with her in ministry when our children were young. I knew that any organization she was a part of would be doctrinally sound and prayer-focused. She encouraged me to read the magazine and check out the website to see if it was something I wanted to be a part of. While I was curious to understand why she was so enthused about WWL, after I looked over the website and signed up for the magazine, I pursued it no further. Frankly, I was at the lowest point in my life, separated from my pastor husband of more than forty years and in the process of filing for divorce. I was convinced my life had no purpose, and I simply did not have the emotional energy to get involved in another ministry.
Each day I fought the lies of the enemy. I tried to immerse myself in Scripture, but there were days I could barely open my Bible. I cried out to the Lord for direction and relief from the pain and loss, but my broken heart received no answers. At least, that is the way it seemed. God was surrounding me with friends who prayed when I could not, encouraged, listened, and kept pointing me to the future He had in store for me. Jeremiah 29:11 became real to me in ways I could never imagine. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Life is complicated and messy, not just for me but for everyone I know. And, believe it or not, that is what I love about Voice of Truth magazine and why it speaks into my life. The articles are written by women who have experienced complicated and messy lives for women who are going through difficulties every single day.
Diana did not give up on me. Every few months, she asked me to consider becoming a part of WWL and introduced me to Kimberly and other women in leadership. I am grateful for the encouragement I have received from the women of WWL through Voice of Truth. And I am happy to tell you that not only is God
restoring my speaking and writing ministry, but I have also begun a mentoring ministry called Ragged to Redeemed for women who have experienced betrayal in their marriages.
Remember, God has a plan for your life, too, and He wants to give you hope for your future.
MEET TAMMY HANSON FROM DAVENPORT, FLORIDA
Having worked in the corporate world for over 23 years, in one of what Fortune 500 Magazine named Top 10 BEST companies to work for several years in a row, never, in a millions years, would I have thought I’d be acting. Acting?!
Acting, instead of climbing the corporate ladder of success?!
Hi, my name is Tammy Hanson and I am an actor.
Jesus saved me two years after I started working in the corporate world. I thought for sure I’d be sharing Jesus and working in the secular world climbing the corporate ladder. BUT GOD totally changed “my plans and my direction” 23 years later.
I had to totally surrender to His will. It really is all about God’s timing and surrendering. Honestly now, having hindsight, and skipping a lot of HARD life lessons while working in the corporate world, God taught me a lot in and through those lessons which I am totally grateful. They were hard but He knew what He was doing. And, He’s not done yet.
When I was introduced to the magazine Voice of Truth, I was so impressed, that when my good friend DeAnn Alaine asked me if I’d like to help out with making short
videos to help get the word out about the magazine, I immediately said YES! I am so excited to be part of this video making journey with my friend DeAnn and can’t wait to do more and more.
Thank you Voice of Truth for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of this continuously growing magazine that tells the “absolute truth” of God’s word. Tells the “absolute truth” of individuals and their true life stories as the people need to hear the “absolute truth” of life in this world that we live in as Christian women.
MEET MARLI BROWN FROM GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
My husband and I bought a house in Grand Rapids, Michigan, after traveling in an RV with our two children for eight years while working in a worship concert and speaking ministry. This life change meant another new place and another opportunity to lean into God as my friend.
Wandering aimlessly through the home decor aisles at Target, I poured my heart out, “I’m lonely, Lord! All of this is new, and once again, I am unfamiliar with my surroundings. I don’t know anyone—I have no friends! Help me adjust, Lord…help me find my footing…help me find my home in you.”
I had become accustomed to that lonely feeling. It was normal to me. I was used to new places and new people and new situations. But now, we were putting roots down, and this was my local store. This was my home. These were my aisles. This is where I would buy my Tide and milk and lightbulbs. And it felt completely foreign. As I watched locals casually laughing, chit-chatting, and shopping together, it felt like another country to me. What should have been a fun Target-run turned into tears and white-knuckling the shopping cart handle.
But because God went shopping with me…
Suddenly I heard my name, “Marli, is that you?”
I turned to see one of only three people I had met in the entire city. This precious lady called my name, smiled, and showed excitement just to see me. We talked for a while, catching up on the kids, ministry, the move, and life in general. A few minutes later, pushing our carts in opposite directions, we waved and said goodbye.
She never knew. She didn’t have a clue. She still doesn’t.
That dear woman had no idea about the battle of loneliness that threatened to overtake me that day. She didn’t know I was crying out to God for relationship— for rescue. She wasn’t aware I needed to connect. See, we were designed for connection. We were built for relationships. God created us to be in fellowship with not only Him, but also with one another. When He made us, He intended that we would grow, learn, and live life with others as we deepen our knowledge and trust in Him.
I think that is what Women World Leaders and the Voice of Truth are all about. Connection. Fellowship. Relationships. God is not only honored and pleased, but He is also blessed as we come together to build His kingdom, walking side by side with sisters whom we may never meet this side of glory.
I am excited to experience the fellowship of like-minded women who wholeheartedly desire to walk out their calling with sincerity, intentionality, and passion as we live the gospel throughout the world. It is an honor to join you in this adventure of faith, fellowship, and friendship.
Marli Brown serves in a faith-based ministry with her husband of nearly 35 years. She is an author, musician, and missionary to the United States. They make their home in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and travel the country encouraging the body of Christ. Their mission is “to see the lost saved, and the saved made stronger.” You may visit their website at www.randyandmarli.com.
I think that is what Women World Leaders and the Voice of Truth are all about. Connection. Fellowship. Relationships.
~ Marli BrownBY DR. JENNIE CERULLO AND DR. MARCIA BALL
Global Connections RATANANG’S
After 22 years in international ministry, our most significant joys are watching our friends and colleagues fall in love with and walk together with Jesus. Yes, there are the 53 countries we’ve trained in, and multiple millions we’ve reached with our education programs, community projects, and programs launched serving orphans and their grannies. But our passion has always been Jesus and sharing His love and hope. We work in developing nations offering prevention strategies to end HIV/AIDS and the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children and improve the quality of education. We work to care for the ill and oppressed, and we are thrilled to empower local churches to engage with the challenges in their community with great courage and compassion. Our lives exploded with adventure, trials, profound grief, and incredible joy when we said yes to God’s invitation to leave
our university positions to assist the poorest of the poor around the world. Today, it feels like we live five extraordinary lives crammed into one! We had no idea that our small step of obedience and faith would bear so much fruit and transform so many lives. One of those precious lives is our dear friend, Ratanang.
Ratanang is one of 15 extraordinary staff members at our orphan care center in Soshanguve, South Africa, a
large township where some of the poorest of the poor in this beautiful nation live. Poverty, crime, and disease are overwhelming, and it is often children and grannies who suffer the most. Ratanang said goodbye to her parents after many long months of struggling with AIDS. She became one of the millions of orphans in her country struggling under limited resources to provide help. As the eldest, she would become head of her household and mother to her little brother—at 13 years old! She was responsible for balancing school, avoiding dangerous people in her community seeking to use and abuse her, meeting her brother’s needs, and figuring out how to put food on the table—a young teenager scrambling to survive. Her heavy burden seemed impossible to carry. Grief, fear, and frustration turned into torrents of despair-filled tears. A heavy fog of hopelessness descended; her life was just beginning, and she was ready to quit. Where was God?
At 18 years of age, Ratanang desperately pleaded with her friend, a staff member at our orphan care center, to help her join our staff team. To her great surprise, our manager hired her! When we met Rati (the nickname we now lovingly call her), we immediately fell in love with her infectious humor, candid demeanor, and radiant smile! Rati’s sweet spirit and passion are invaluable as she relates to our children with gentleness and a genuine understanding of their life circumstances and emotional journeys. Eight years ago, she walked through our doors needing rescue, and today she is rescuing others, leading our teens to the hope she has found. It is a privilege to have Rati on our team; she is an integral part of our Kerus family!
Now married and a mom of two beautiful girls, one might not realize at first how challenging Rati’s life has been and continues to be. But love changes our perspective; the once fearful and sad teenager’s eyes today reflect confidence and purpose. We have loved Rati, prayed with her, and walked with her through several challenging issues. In 2015, her young daughter was hit by a drunk driver and almost killed. After many overwhelming months in the hospital and several
surgeries, her daughter’s scar-filled legs still show the horror of that afternoon. But the miracle to witness is her daughter playing on the playground, walking and running like other children! She defied all odds by the touch of God. We are so grateful!
A year later, Rati’s husband, a policeman, was off-duty and in a barber shop when gang members came in to rob the place. He dove to the floor to hide, knowing he and all inside would likely be killed if he was recognized. A gun went off! The bullet meant for someone else ricocheted off the floor and pierced her husband’s belly. He survived, but there were long months of surgeries and doctor visits again. And, just last year, Rati was a victim of an armed robbery in the township. Life in the township is so hard! But Rati has a whole new perspective.
Deep shame and discouragement were constant companions of Rati’s. She believed that bad things happened to her because God was angry and disappointed with her behavior. Haven’t you felt that way before? Her view of God was about performing to appease God instead of having a loving relationship with Him. Bad events are perceived as HIS way of punishing us for other things. Through a staff study of the book, The Good and Beautiful God, by James Bryan Smith, Rati realized her view of God wasn’t the truth about God. God wasn’t punishing her; He was walking with her through those hard things.
Rati would tell you that for years she struggled with feelings of abandonment and the stigma associated
But love changes our perspective; the once fearful and sad teenager’s eyes today reflect confidence and
with being labeled an “orphan.” A few years ago, during a discipleship training retreat for our staff, we had taught about what it meant to be “adopted” into the family of God. Our Father God, Abba, not only loves us but gives us privileges and authority as HIS children. He calls us His own. During a quiet time of praying and reflecting, our vivacious Rati began to weep and weep. Her group patiently waited, and then she burst with emotion. All she could say was, “He (meaning God) said I’m not an orphan anymore! He said I’m not an orphan anymore!” Rati was finally free; the reassuring voice of her Father called her HIS
like her worldwide who follow Jesus under the weight of poverty’s unique challenges. Bearing the scars of the journey, their stories of courage and finding hope will reap a legacy of “Jesus followers” touching the lives of others for generations.
own! Most recently, after overcoming the dangers of ongoing illness and a high-risk pregnancy, God has blessed Rati with a sweet and healthy baby girl! And through it all, the hard times or blessings, she gives thanks. The once frightened teenager, full of heartache, fear, and shame, is now confidently rescuing others, offering gifts of grace and invitations to intimately know Jesus. Her life is full and purposeful. Please pray for Rati and other heroes
Many years ago, we were invited by God to share the message of His great love for humankind. We are privileged to be invited into the stories of others; to witness love’s extravagant ability to bring forth rivers of living waters in parched souls is amazing! Our heavenly Father will invite you too! Respond! Whether abroad or in your neighborhood, small or big steps forward with Him are life-giving and life-saving! Expect radical change in you and through you. Jesus’ love will spill over, again and again, to transform lives like Ratanang’s forever!
To learn more about how you can be involved, visit our website @ www.kerusglobal.org.
A Heartfelt Thank You
To our sister and friend, Kelly Williams Hale. 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 Kelly for the beauty you’ve made come alive through these pages! Much love to you!
A special thanks goes to Johana Torres, our translator for Voice of Truth and Women World Leaders.
Johana is a faithful Woman World Leader who has supported this ministry with her time, talents, and prayers not only for us all, but graciously for the Hispanic community who is close to her heart. She has a passionate desire to serve God first in all that He calls her to do at home, in the family business, and in ministry. Thank you Johana for being a committed volunteer of your time. We love you.
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.
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.
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) Scan