9th edition quarter III 2022
Our Mission 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.
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Speaking 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.
Seasonal Events 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. 2
Letter from the Founder I
pray that you, my dear sisters from around the world, have been enjoying the seasons of your lives since our last edition. Some of you are currently enjoying the beauty of summertime, while others in different regions are experiencing the crispness of winter. All around our world, seasons occur at different times of the year. Yet, the consistency of the earth’s seasons marvelously reflects the steadiness of our Creator’s character. Just as we stand in awe of the earthly seasons we visibly see, we recognize the different seasons of our lives that bring the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the slow times and fast paces of our day-to-day lives. Every good gift and every perfect gift are from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with who is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. (James 1:17 KJV) Unlike the earth’s seasons, sometimes the seasons of life shift without notice. Do you allow unexpected events to throw you off course? Focusing on God’s consistency while pushing through turbulent times empowers us to respond with peace to unforeseen circumstances. As we look around, we will begin to notice the examples of God’s steady and consistent behavior. Remaining calm and confident as we intently focus on the powerful leading of our Lord allows us to see a straightforward path to our intended destination. Seeing the right view ahead is essential. But if our mind is cloudy and cluttered, can we confidently walk where God leads us? Many times, not so much. So, a steady stance is vital in our lives, and we must strive to be firmly fixed and stable in the position to which God has called us. Steadiness is an important word for us as Christ-followers. It allows us to stay firmly planted in our walk with God and not be interrupted by every “squirrel” that may jump in our way. Being distracted can cause us to swerve off course and go in a direction not intended by God. Rely on and thank God for His consistency. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22 ESV) We live in a world full of sights and sounds. We must not become chained to the stimuli, leaping ahead of ourselves
or falling behind because of distractions. Wobbling from one diversion to the next can rob us of time to finish our task or even prohibit us from completing it. God always wants us to be aware of Him and continue stepping toward the goals and dreams that He’s placed in our hearts. He desires steadiness in our daily walk as we move forward with Him. It is our hope and prayer that Voice of Truth will be a tool for you as you experience seasons of trials, joy, sadness, mourning, and laughter. As you face endings and new beginnings, God faithfully supplies all you need to keep your eyes fixed on Him. May this and every edition of Voice of Truth be that blessing in your life. As soon as an article grabs your attention, talk to God about it. Share your joys and your problems with Him as they arise. Please use this helpful publication along with the Bible, allowing God to peacefully steady you as you accomplish your appointed goals each day. We pray He will work through you as your heart steadfastly trusts in Him. May Voice of Truth be a steady guide that God uses to help you balance the weight you carry, allowing you to witness how our Creator has triumphed in others’ lives. Stay consistent with Him while you reach for your dreams and navigate complications. Whatever each day brings, I pray that when you pick up a copy of Voice of Truth, no matter what season you are in or how “off course” you might be, God’s Word nestled in the pages, consistent and true, will bring you back and steady you on your path towards Him. They will have no fear of bad news: their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Their hearts are secure: they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes. (Psalm 112:7-8 NIV) Consistency is the key, dear sisters, and staying steady and studying the Word will bring a genuine character that reflects God’s beauty. May you be empowered as you read on and glean truths for your life that are lasting and fulfilling.
Kimberly Hobbs Founder & Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org Ephesians 3:20
Carta de Nuestra Fundadora Ruego que ustedes, mis queridas hermanas de todo el mundo, hayan disfrutado las estaciones de sus vidas desde nuestra última edición. Algunas de ustedes están disfrutando actualmente de la belleza del verano, mientras que otras en diferentes regiones están experimentando la frescura del invierno. En todo el mundo, las estaciones ocurren en diferentes épocas del año. Sin embargo, la consistencia de las estaciones de la tierra refleja maravillosamente la firmeza del carácter de nuestro Creador. Así como nos asombramos de las estaciones terrenales que vemos visiblemente, reconocemos las diferentes estaciones de nuestras vidas que traen los altibajos, lo bueno y lo malo, los tiempos lentos y los ritmos rápidos de nuestra vida cotidiana. Toda buena dádiva y todo don perfecto son de lo alto, y descienden del Padre de las luces, en quien no hay mudanza, ni sombra de variación. (Santiago 1:17 KJV) A diferencia de las estaciones de la tierra, a veces las estaciones de la vida cambian sin previo aviso. ¿Permites que eventos inesperados desvíen su rumbo? Enfocarnos en la consistencia de Dios mientras atravesamos tiempos turbulentos nos empodera para responder con paz a circunstancias imprevistas. Al mirar a nuestro alrededor, comenzaremos a notar los ejemplos del comportamiento firme y constante de Dios. Mantener la calma y la confianza mientras nos enfocamos intensamente en la dirección poderosa de nuestro Señor, nos permite ver un camino directo hacia nuestro destino previsto. Ver el correcto camino por delante es esencial. Pero si nuestra mente está nublada y desordenada, ¿será que podemos caminar con confianza hacia donde Dios nos guía? Muchas veces, no tanto. Por lo tanto, una postura firme es vital en nuestras vidas, y debemos esforzarnos por mantenernos firmes y estables en la posición a la que Dios nos ha llamado. Estabilidad es una palabra importante para nosotras como seguidoras de Cristo. Nos permite permanecer firmemente plantadas en nuestro caminar con Dios y no ser interrumpidas por cada “ardilla” que pueda saltar en nuestro camino. Estar distraídas puede hacer que nos desviemos del rumbo y vayamos en una dirección no prevista por Dios. Confía y agradece a Dios por Su consistencia. Mientras la tierra exista, habrá siembra y cosecha, frío y calor, verano e invierno, y días y noches (Génesis 8:22 NVI) Vivimos en un mundo lleno de imágenes y sonidos. No debemos encadenarnos a los estímulos, adelantarnos o quedar-
nos atrás por distracciones. Tambalearse de una diversión a la siguiente puede robarnos el tiempo para terminar nuestra tarea o incluso prohibirnos completarla. Dios siempre quiere que seamos conscientes de Él y sigamos caminando hacia las metas y sueños que Él ha puesto en nuestro corazón. Él desea estabilidad en nuestro andar diario a medida que avanzamos con Él. Es nuestra esperanza y oración que Voice of Truth sea una herramienta para ustedes a medida que experimentan temporadas de pruebas, alegría, tristeza, duelo y risa. A medida que enfrentan finales y nuevos comienzos, Dios fielmente suple todo lo que necesitan para mantener sus ojos fijos en Él. Que esta edición y todas las ediciones de Voice of Truth sean esa bendición en sus vidas. Tan pronto como un artículo les llame la atención, hablen con Dios al respecto. Compartan sus alegrías y sus problemas con Él a medida que surjan. Utilicen esta útil publicación junto con la Biblia, permitiendo que Dios las sostenga pacíficamente a medida que logran sus metas asignadas diariamente. Oramos para que Él obre a través de todas ustedes a medida que sus corazones confíen firmemente en Él. Qué Voice of Truth sea una guía constante que Dios use para ayudarles a equilibrar el peso que llevan, permitiéndoles ser testigos de cómo nuestro Creador ha triunfado en la vida de los demás. Manténgase constante con Él mientras alcanzan sus sueños y navegan por las complicaciones. Independientemente de lo que traiga cada día, oro para que cuando obtengan una copia de Voice of Truth, sin importar en qué estación se encuentren o cuán “desviada” puedan estar, la Palabra de Dios anidada en las páginas, consistente y verdadera, las traerá de regreso y firmes en el camino hacia Él. No temerá recibir malas noticias; su corazón estará firme, confiado en el SEÑOR. Su corazón estará seguro, no tendrá temor. (Salmo 112:7-8 NVI) La consistencia es la clave, queridas hermanas, y permanecer firmes y estudiar la Palabra traerá un carácter genuino que refleje la belleza de Dios. Que se fortalezca a medida que lean y recopile verdades para sus vida que sean duraderas y satisfactorias. Excedidamente, Abundantemente, Más allá,
Kimberly Hobbs Founder & Executive Director email@example.com Ephesians 3:20
Gospel Grace CONNIE VAN HORN (WITH SPANISH VERSION)
Podcast Spotlight JULIE JENKINS
Writings from the Global Office WWL STAFF
Psalm 91 LYNNE HUDSON
A Photo Column from Jessica JESSICA MORNEAULT
College Courage SARAH JENKINS
Musings on the Book of John CONNIE HECKER
Nonna’s kNOWledge CAROLYN JOY
Holy Hush DEBORAH WATSON
A Focus on Him
Kingdom Promise: Abundance, Hope, and a Future KELLY WILLIAMS HALE
Rekindle: Keeping First Love Alive
Journey with Jesus
Use Your Voice
A Beautiful Mess
Leaving a Godly Legacy KATHLEEN BARRETT (WITH SPANISH VERSION)
Living a Holystic Life MELISSA KESSLER
DIANA BROWN (WITH SPANISH VERSION)
Beside Still Waters RUSANNE JOURDAN
DR. CHIDI KALU
Prayers for the Sons of the King DR. JIA CONWAY
Through a Mother’s Eyes DIANE CHEVELDAYOFF
A Purposed Creation KERRI BRIDGES
REV. LISA MORRISON
Following the Son MICHELE HUGHES
DR. JIA CONWAY
Faith and Family DONNA WHARTENBY
Power Points: God at Work through Women Leaders Yesterday and Today LEECY BARNETT
Change Your Story with Kirstin Leigh KIRSTIN LEIGH
Coffee Chats TINA KADOLPH
Voice of Truth Stories
WWL Global Connections
Voice of Truth Credits Kimberly Hobbs - VOT Founder & WWL Executive Director Carrie Christopher - VOT Co-founder Julie Jenkins - WWL Teaching Leader, VOT Editor Diane Cheveldayoff - Leadership Director and Finance Kayla Follin - Graphic Designer Kelley Walker Daniels - Editor Kerri Bridges - Editor Lisa Morrison - Editor Dana Reeves - Administration & Mailing Jessica Morneault - Photography Co-Management Janet Berrong - Encouragement Team Arlene Salas - Giving Acknowledgments Johana Torres - Spanish Translator
THIS MINISTRY IS FLOURISHING BY AN ARMY OF WOMEN WORLD LEADERS. MANY THANKS TO: Diane Cheveldayoff, Dr. Jia Conway, Diana Brown, Lois Daley, Cakki Warren, Michele Hughes, Tina Gallo, Yvette Behmer, Dr. Chidi Kalu, Candice Daniel, Rusanne Jourdan, Lillian Cucuzza, Connie Van Horn, Sara Sahm, Carol Whipkey, Shelly Haas, Vaishali Nair, DeAnn Alaine, Stacy Thomas, Dianelli Snapp, and Anita Setran.
GOSPEL GRACE Chasing Butterflies Journal B Y C O N N I E VA N H O R N “BUILT-IN COURAGE”
would walk past her home on my evening walks. Her window blinds were always open, and the lighting was bright and beaming with tranquility. There were no televisions in this home, and the peacefulness of her environment called out to me like a voice in the wind as constant noise filled my own life, piercing me like a sharp knife. She had a beautiful and contagious smile, and I could always find her on the porch reading a book. One day, I was sitting at the end of my driveway watching my children play. She approached me, and we enjoyed casual small talk. She handed me a pocket-sized book, Jesus Calling. I had never heard of this book, and she gave no explanation for this small gift. Her attire most days was a long skirt, a tucked-in white blouse, golden blond hair in a bun, and a white bonnet. It was spring 2013; I had never seen a woman dress this way. She was an image from an old Amish movie. She was married to a young man who was completing his medical residency, and they shared two young daughters. She walked confidently and never blinked at the stares she received from around our community. Her name was Chere. It was the first time in my life that I was in awe of the inner peace someone projected. I wanted what Chere had. I wanted the peace in her home and the joy in her heart. I wanted to have her confidence.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27 NIV) My life at this point was at its lowest place. Little did I know it was about to get worse. The almost unbearable storm I was enduring was about to collide with another. It’s a good thing we can’t see tomorrow. I would have run for the hills. Instead, I blindly walked right into the eye of this storm. It was like one very intense hurricane dancing around with another as the two storms collided. Still, the eye of the hurricane is calm. We can look at our lives that way when things get hard. Even though there is complete chaos around us, we can have a sense of peace in the center of it all. God was right there with me in the middle of that storm. I didn’t know it at the time, but He was definitely there.
Even though there is complete chaos around us, we can have a sense of peace in the center of it all. God was right there with me in the middle of that storm.
GOSPEL GRACE CONT.
At the time, I was not saved or involved in any church group. I had heard about God, but I didn’t have a true understanding of Him. I wanted to believe in God; I just didn’t know how. I honestly didn’t think I was good enough to be in God’s family. I was messy, and my life was broken and full of sin. Why would God want someone like me? I carried those words around in my heart for years. I was alone during this period in my life. I had people all around me, but I felt so alone. I heard a Christian song on the radio while living next door to Chere, Worn. It was the first time in years that I felt a connection to something. Until that point, I felt alone in my circumstances and the pain I was experiencing. I heard the lyrics, and I felt comforted and filled with hope for the first time. I was so tired in my fight. I was indeed worn. My heart was heavy, and my soul felt crushed by the weight of the world. I needed to hear that the struggle ends - that redemption wins. That God can mend a heart that’s frail and torn. I wanted to know that a beautiful song can rise from the ashes of a broken life. And all that’s dead inside can be reborn. I had hope. God said mustard seed-sized faith could move mountains. This was the beginning of my faith. I had faith before I had God. One evening, while I was sitting in bed crying and feeling hopeless, I opened that little book Chere had given me. I started to read the devotion for that day. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The words on the page aligned exactly with what I was going through at that moment. God spoke to me. I wanted to jump up with excitement. I called my young daughter into the room, and we read it together several times. She was excited too. For the next several days and weeks, my faith grew a little more each day. I can’t explain how God was able to speak directly to me through the pages of that little book, but He did. God was calling out to me. God finds a heart set on Him, and He calls it out and claims it as His own. He had His hand on my heart before I had my eyes on Him. He was right there with me in the eye of that storm. God knew that I was messy and would mess up often. God knew that I was weak, and this world was tempting me. He wasn’t calling on a perfect body. He was calling on a willing heart. God used Chere to open my eyes to the life that I desired to live. It was a simple life. It was peaceful and full of love. I wanted her peace and the joy she exuded. And He used that
God was calling out to me. God finds a heart set on Him, and He calls it out and claims it as His own. song on the radio to let me know that I could rise from my broken life. He reminded me that beauty can come from ashes. And I had hope for the first time. God used that little pocket-sized book to feed me His Word and build a trusting relationship with me. I felt connected to a God I didn’t know. I wanted more. I started listening to Christian radio, where I heard God’s Word and His soft voice whispering to me through worship songs. The Bible was still a big intimidating mystery. But God’s music became my greatest source of worship and closeness to Him. God was revealing Himself to me. God knew that I was about to go through hard things. Big things. And He wanted to build my faith and trust in Him. So He gave me built-in courage to survive the storm. He revealed Himself to me in the most beautiful and precious way. God also knew I was easily distracted and would need a constant reminder of my new life and His love for me. So this was just the beginning. I didn’t live next to Chere long. We moved just a few months after meeting. In the fall of that year, my life took a direct hit by that storm I mentioned earlier. For the next ten months, my children and I would live in a Quality Inn hotel, and after that, we lived in a women’s shelter for nine months. That was a total of 19 months in this specific storm. I was pregnant at the time we were living in the hotel. I remember how hard it was to bring my newborn baby daughter home from the hospital. The hospital stay felt like a vacation.
I didn’t have access to a stove or an oven in the hotel. I had to cook for my children using a microwave, and we often enjoyed already prepared hot food. But I tried to make this environment as normal as possible. I hung their artwork on the walls, and we celebrated holidays in the lobby sitting area. I made sure to keep the beds made and the room tidy. The windows were open during the day, and the room was bright. I wanted my children to feel safe. I wanted them to feel at home. I would think about Chere and her bright and peaceful home. I worked hard to make our room feel the same way. We had a television in our room, but I would limit the time we spent watching it. I tried to keep my children busy with walks, parks, libraries, and stores. We spent a lot of time outside that room, but I learned so much while in that room. It was in that room that God began to put my broken pieces back together. Piece by piece, He collected me up from the pain that had held me down. God knew that I was a fighter. I didn’t have much else. I was living in constant fear of what tomorrow might bring. I had no money, education, or resources, and I didn’t have a community at the time. You see, during the day, I put on a brave face for my kids the everything-is-ok face. At night, after they went to sleep, I would cry out to the God I was seeking to know. I would get down on the dirty floor and cry until I had no tears left. I begged for help. Somehow I recognized that God wants us to cry out to Him at night and be ready for battle at dawn. This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9 NLT) Now, I can look back and see that God was right there with us. I had purchased a craft frame from a Goodwill store. It was a butterfly outline in a white frame, and I made handprints on the butterfly using my children’s hands. This frame sat next to my bed in that room for all those months. It’s amazing to me that God was leaving droplets of His presence in that room that I wouldn’t discover until sometime later. I like to call these “sprinkles of hope.” Those 19 months were transformational for me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but God was changing me. I was still lost and hurting and had very little hope, but I had just enough built-in courage to keep me going in the right
direction. My mustard seed-sized faith always sustained me until God sprinkled another droplet of hope. Hope is a beautiful thing. Hope fuels all people to keep moving forward and not give up. We can find hope in the most unlikely places. We just need willing eyes to see. Martin Luther King said, “Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.” God is our hope. In August of 2014, I gave my whole heart to Jesus. That day, I became new, and my life completely changed. It was that day that I started chasing butterflies. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) I was chasing my new life! This new life is available to everyone. Yes, God wants you. He wants you just the way you are and right where you are. He will sit in the eye of that storm with you. God doesn’t look at the past or the struggles you face today. He looks at your heart. It’s your heart He is after. If you are tired and worn from walking this life alone and you want to hold hands with the One who created you, today is the day.
Yes, God wants you. He wants you just the way you are and right where you are. He will sit in the eye of that storm with you. 9
GOSPEL GRACE CONT.
That day I saw my sinful self and that I needed a savior. I prayed to Jesus and repented, telling Him that I was sorry for everything. I asked Him to forgive me and come into my heart and guide me. I told Him that I believed that He died for me. Yes - me! He loved me from the very beginning. And He had patiently waited for me to realize that I couldn’t do it alone. He climbed up on that cross for me. That’s love. I told Him that I knew that I couldn’t get to heaven without Him, and heaven is where I longed to be. Home. If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV) In that exact moment of prayer, I believe that Jesus saved me. He restored all my hope and faith, and He made me new. If you want to take the next step with Jesus, I encourage you to find a quiet place and pray this same way. Your loving Father wants a relationship with you. Call out to Him - He is waiting. For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)
Your loving Father wants a relationship with you. Call out to Him - He is waiting. After I was saved, I fell in love with books and daily journaling. I would write everything down in these journals because I never wanted to forget what God had done for me. In the beginning, I was a new believer trying to figure it all out. Getting to know God has been the greatest and most rewarding adventure of my life. I am still messy and broken in some places, but I am also worthy and loved. I am loved by my heavenly Father, who reminds me daily that we will get through this life together. He is preparing me for home. I’m excited to share my journey with you as we run this race together. God never intended for us to face it alone. I look forward to the next time with you. Please look for my article in the next edition of Voice of Truth, “Chasing Butterfly Journal.”
Together, let’s chase after God. Jesus hung on that tree so that we could have a new life. And He wants us never to stop chasing after it. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up - the flames will not consume you. (Isaiah 43:2 TLB) Connie Van Horn is an ordinary person whom God spared and gave new life. She is passionate about sharing her story in hopes that God will use it to change lives. Connie wants the whole world to know about her amazing and loving God. She understands that we are all called to share in the mission of taking the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. She dreams of changing the world by sharing Jesus and raising worldchangers who have a kingdom perspective. Connie wants her readers to know that it’s ok to be broken - it’s in our broken place that we find God. See past messy, see past broken, and you might just see a miracle.
GRACIA DEL EVANGELIO gospel grace spanish
La Jornada Persiguiendo Mariposas P O R C O N N I E VA N H O R N “CORAJE INCORPORADO”
asaba por delante de su casa en mis paseos vespertinos. Las persianas de su ventana siempre estaban abiertas y la iluminación era brillante y radiante de tranquilidad. No había televisores en esta casa, y la tranquilidad de su entorno me llamaba como una voz en el viento mientras el ruido constante llenaba mi propia vida, atravesándome como un cuchillo afilado. Tenía una sonrisa hermosa y contagiosa, y siempre podía encontrarla en el porche leyendo un libro. Un día, estaba sentada al final de la entrada de mi casa viendo jugar a mis hijos. Se acercó a mí y disfrutamos de una pequeña charla informal. Me entregó un libro de bolsillo, Jesús te llama. Nunca había oído hablar de este libro, y ella no dio ninguna explicación sobre este pequeño regalo.
gorro blanco. Era la primavera de 2013; Nunca había visto a una mujer vestirse de esta manera. Era una imagen de una vieja película Amish. Estaba casada con un joven que estaba completando su residencia médica y compartían dos hijas pequeñas. Caminó con confianza y nunca parpadeó ante las miradas que recibió de nuestra comunidad. Su nombre era Chere. Era la primera vez en mi vida que me asombraba la paz interior que alguien proyectaba. Quería lo que tenía Chere. Quería la paz en su hogar y la alegría en su corazón. Quería tener su confianza. La paz les dejo; mi paz les doy. Yo no se la doy a ustedes como la da el mundo. No se angustien ni se acobarden. (Juan 14:27 NIV)
Su atuendo la mayoría de los días era una falda larga, una blusa blanca metida, cabello rubio dorado en un moño y un
GRACIA DEL EVANGELIO CONT.
Mi vida en este punto estaba en su lugar más bajo. Poco sabía que estaba a punto de empeorar. La tormenta casi insoportable que estaba soportando estaba a punto de chocar con otra. Es bueno que no podamos ver el mañana. Habría corrido por las colinas. En cambio, caminé ciegamente hacia el ojo de esta tormenta. Era como un huracán muy intenso bailando alrededor de otro cuando las dos tormentas chocaron. Aún así, el ojo del huracán está en calma. Podemos ver nuestras vidas de esa manera cuando las cosas se ponen difíciles. Aunque haya un caos total a nuestro alrededor, podemos tener una sensación de paz en el centro de todo. Dios estaba allí conmigo en medio de esa tormenta. No lo sabía en ese momento, pero definitivamente Él estaba allí.
Dios estaba allí conmigo en medio de esa tormenta. No lo sabía en ese momento, pero definitivamente Él estaba allí. En ese momento, yo no era salva ni estaba involucrada en ningún grupo de la iglesia. Había oído hablar de Dios, pero no tenía un verdadero entendimiento de Él. Quería creer en Dios; Simplemente no sabía cómo. Honestamente, no pensé que era lo suficientemente buena para estar en la familia de Dios. Estaba desordenada, y mi vida estaba rota y llena de pecado. ¿Por qué Dios querría a alguien como yo? Llevé esas palabras en mi corazón durante años. Estuve sola durante este período de mi vida. Tenía gente a mi alrededor, pero me sentía tan sola. Escuché una canción cristiana en la radio mientras vivía al lado de Chere, Worn. Era la primera vez en años que sentía una conexión con algo. Hasta ese momento, me sentía sola en mis circunstancias y el dolor que estaba experimentando. Escuché la letra y me sentí reconfortada y llena de esperanza por primera vez. Estaba tan cansada en mi lucha. De hecho, estaba desgastada. Mi corazón estaba pesado y mi alma se sentía aplastada por el peso del mundo. Necesitaba escuchar que la lucha termina, que la redención gana. Que Dios puede reparar un corazón frágil y desgarrado. Quería saber
que una hermosa canción pudiera surgir de las cenizas de una vida rota. Y todo lo que está muerto por dentro puede renacer. tenía esperanza Dios dijo que la fe del tamaño de una semilla de mostaza podía mover montañas. Este fue el comienzo de mi fe. Tuve fe antes de tener a Dios. Una tarde, mientras estaba sentada en la cama llorando y sintiéndome desesperada, abrí ese librito que Chere me había dado. Empecé a leer el devocional de ese día. No podía creer lo que estaba leyendo. Las palabras en la página se alinearon exactamente con lo que estaba pasando en ese momento. Dios me habló. Quería saltar de la emoción. Llamé a mi hija pequeña a la habitación y lo leímos juntas varias veces. Ella también estaba emocionada. Durante los siguientes días y semanas, mi fe creció un poco más cada día. No puedo explicar cómo Dios pudo hablarme directamente a través de las páginas de ese librito, pero lo hizo. Dios me estaba llamando. Dios encuentra un corazón puesto en Él, lo llama y lo reclama como suyo. Él tenía Su mano en mi corazón antes de que yo pusiera mis ojos en Él. Él estaba allí conmigo en el ojo de esa tormenta. Dios sabía que yo era desordenada y que a menudo cometeria errores. Dios sabía que yo era débil y que este mundo me estaba tentando. Él no estaba llamando a un cuerpo perfecto. Estaba llamando a un corazón dispuesto. Dios usó a Chere para abrir mis ojos a la vida que deseaba vivir. Era una vida sencilla. Era pacífica y llena de amor. Quería su paz y la alegría que destilaba. Y usó esa canción en la radio para hacerme saber que podía levantarme de mi vida rota. Me recordó que la belleza puede venir de las cenizas. Y tuve esperanza por primera vez. Dios usó ese librito de bolsillo para alimentarme con Su Palabra y construir una relación de confianza conmigo. Me sentí conectada con un Dios que no conocía. Quería más, empecé a escuchar la radio cristiana, donde escuchaba la Palabra de Dios y Su suave voz susurrándome a través de canciones de adoración. La Biblia seguía siendo un gran misterio intimidante. Pero la música de Dios se convirtió en mi mayor fuente de adoración y cercanía a Él. Dios se estaba revelando a mí. Dios sabía que estaba a punto de pasar por cosas difíciles. Grandes cosas. Y Él quería edificar mi fe y confianza en Él. Así que Él me dio el coraje incorporado para sobrevivir a la tormenta. Él se me reveló de la manera más hermosa y preciosa. Dios también sabía que me distraía fácilmente y que necesitaría un recordatorio constante de mi nueva vida y de Su amor por mí. Así que esto fue solo el comienzo.
Dios me estaba llamando. Dios encuentra un corazón puesto en Él, lo llama y lo reclama como suyo. No viví mucho tiempo al lado de Chere. Nos mudamos solo unos meses después de conocernos. En el otoño de ese año, mi vida recibió un golpe directo por esa tormenta que mencioné anteriormente. Durante los siguientes diez meses, mis hijos y yo viviríamos en un hotel Quality Inn y, después de eso, vivimos en un albergue para mujeres durante nueve meses. Eso fue un total de 19 meses en esta tormenta específica. Estaba embarazada cuando vivíamos en el hotel. Recuerdo lo difícil que fue llevar a mi hija recién nacida del hospital a casa. La estadía en el hospital se sintió como unas vacaciones. No tenía acceso a una estufa o un horno en el hotel. Tenía que cocinar para mis hijos usando un microondas y, a menudo, disfrutábamos de la comida caliente ya preparada. Pero traté de hacer este ambiente lo más normal posible. Colgué sus obras de arte en las paredes y celebramos las fiestas en la sala de estar del vestíbulo. Me aseguré de mantener las camas hechas y la habitación ordenada. Las ventanas estaban abiertas durante el día y la habitación estaba iluminada. Quería que mis hijos se sintieran seguros. Quería que se sintieran como en casa. Pensaría en Chere y su hogar brillante y pacífico. Trabajé duro para que nuestra habitación se sintiera de la misma manera. Teníamos un televisor en nuestra habitación, pero limitaría el tiempo que pasábamos viéndolo. Traté de mantener a mis hijos ocupados con caminatas, parques,
bibliotecas y tiendas. Pasamos mucho tiempo fuera de esa habitación, pero aprendí mucho mientras estaba en esa habitación. Fue en esa habitación donde Dios comenzó a juntar mis pedazos rotos. Pieza por pieza, me recogió del dolor que me había retenido. Dios sabía que yo era una luchadora. No tenía mucho más. Vivía con el temor constante de lo que podría traer el mañana. No tenía dinero, educación o recursos, y no tenía una comunidad en ese momento. Verás, durante el día, pongo una cara valiente para mis hijos: la cara de que todo está bien. Por la noche, después de que se fueran a dormir, clamaría al Dios que buscaba conocer. Me tiraba al suelo sucio y lloraba hasta que no me quedaban lágrimas. Rogué por ayuda. De alguna manera reconocí que Dios quiere que clamemos a Él en la noche y estemos listos para la batalla al amanecer. Este es mi mandato: ¡sé fuerte y valiente! No tengas miedo ni te desanimes. Porque el Señor tu Dios está contigo dondequiera que vayas. (Josué 1:9 NLT) Ahora, puedo mirar hacia atrás y ver que Dios estaba allí con nosotros. Había comprado un marco artesanal en una tienda Goodwill. Era el contorno de una mariposa en un marco blanco, e hice huellas en la mariposa con las manos de mis hijos. Este marco estuvo junto a mi cama en esa habitación durante todos esos meses. Me sorprende que Dios estaba dejando gotas de Su presencia en esa habitación que no descubriría hasta algún tiempo después. Me gusta llamar a estos “chispas de esperanza.” Esos 19 meses fueron transformadores para mí. No me di cuenta en ese momento, pero Dios me estaba cambiando. Todavía estaba perdida y dolida y tenía muy poca esperanza, pero tenía suficiente coraje incorporado para seguir en la dirección correcta. Mi fe del tamaño de una semilla de mostaza siempre me sostuvo hasta que Dios roció otra gota de esperanza. La esperanza es algo hermoso. La esperanza alimenta a todas las personas a seguir adelante y no rendirse. Podemos encontrar esperanza en los lugares más improbables. Solo necesitamos ojos dispuestos a ver. Martin Luther King dijo: “Todo lo que se hace en este mundo se hace con esperanza”. Dios es nuestra esperanza. En agosto de 2014, entregué todo mi corazón a Jesús. Ese día, me hice nueva y mi vida cambió por completo. Fue ese día que comencé a perseguir mariposas.
GRACIA DEL EVANGELIO CONT.
En ese preciso momento de oración, creo que Jesús me salvó. Él restauró toda mi esperanza y fe, y me hizo nueva. Si quieres dar el siguiente paso con Jesús, te animo a buscar un lugar tranquilo y orar de la misma manera. Tu amoroso Padre quiere una relación contigo. Llámalo, Él está esperando. Porque de tal manera amó Dios al mundo que dio a su hijo unigénito, para que todo aquel que en él cree no se pierda, mas tenga vida eterna. (Juan 3:16 NVI)
Por tanto, si alguno está en Cristo, la nueva creación ha llegado. ¡Lo viejo se ha ido, lo nuevo está aquí! (2 Corintios 5:17 NVI)
Después de ser salva, me enamoré de los libros y de escribir un diario. Escribía todo en estos diarios porque nunca quería olvidar lo que Dios había hecho por mí. Al principio, yo era una nueva creyente tratando de resolverlo todo. Conocer a Dios ha sido la aventura más grande y gratificante de mi vida. Todavía estoy desordenada y rota en algunos lugares, pero también soy digna y amada. Soy amada por mi Padre celestial, quien me recuerda todos los días que pasaremos esta vida juntos. Me estoy preparando para el hogar.
¡Estaba persiguiendo mi nueva vida! Esta nueva vida está disponible para todos. Sí, Dios te quiere. Él te quiere tal como eres y justo donde estás. Él se sentará contigo en el ojo de la tormenta. Dios no mira el pasado o las luchas que enfrentas hoy. Él mira tu corazón. Es tu corazón lo que Él busca. Si estás cansada y agotada de caminar sola por esta vida y quieres tomarte de la mano de Aquel que te creó, hoy es el día.
Estoy emocionada de compartir mi viaje contigo mientras corremos esta carrera juntas. Dios nunca tuvo la intención de que la enfrentáramos solas. Espero que la próxima vez sea contigo. Busquén mi artículo en la próxima edición de Voice of Truth, “Chasing Butterfly Journal”.
Sí, Dios te quiere. Él te quiere tal como eres y justo donde estás. Él se sentará contigo en el ojo de la tormenta.
Cuando atravieses aguas profundas y grandes tribulaciones, yo estaré contigo. Cuando pases por ríos de dificultad, no te ahogarás. Cuando caminéis por el fuego de la opresión, no seréis quemados, las llamas no os consumirán. (Isaías 43:2 TLB)
Ese día vi a mi yo pecaminoso y que necesitaba un salvador. Oré a Jesús y me arrepentí, diciéndole que me arrepentía de todo. Le pedí que me perdonara y entrara en mi corazón y me guiará. Le dije que creía que Él murió por mí. ¡Si yo! Me amó desde el principio. Y Él había esperado pacientemente a que me diera cuenta de que no podía hacerlo sola. Se subió a esa cruz por mí. Eso es amor. Le dije que sabía que no podía llegar al cielo sin Él, y que el cielo es donde anhelaba estar. Hogar. Si confiesas con tu boca que Jesús es el Señor y crees en tu corazón que Dios lo resucitó de entre los muertos, serás salvo. (Romanos 10:9 NVI)
Juntas, persigamos a Dios. Jesús colgó de ese árbol para que pudiéramos tener una nueva vida. Y Él quiere que nunca dejemos de perseguirlo.
Connie Van Horn es una persona común a quien Dios salvó y le dio nueva vida. Le apasiona compartir su historia con la esperanza de que Dios la use para cambiar vidas. Connie quiere que todo el mundo sepa acerca de su maravilloso y amoroso Dios. Ella entiende que todos estamos llamados a compartir la misión de llevar el evangelio de Jesucristo hasta los confines de la tierra. Ella sueña con cambiar el mundo compartiendo a Jesús y criando a personas que cambien el mundo y que tengan una perspectiva del reino. Connie quiere que sus lectores sepan que está bien estar roto: es en nuestro lugar roto donde encontramos a Dios. Mira el pasado desordenado, mira el pasado roto, y es posible que veas un milagro.
Podcast Spotlight JESUS HEALS ON THE SABBATH – MATTHEW 12:9-14, MARK 3:1-6, LUKE 6:6-11 “Thanks for listening to Women World Leaders’ Podcast!” If you are familiar with that sentence, you have already found our trio of podcasts on YouTube, Apple, Amazon, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts! If not, I encourage you to visit your favorite podcast outlet and type “Women World Leaders” in the search bar. We know that God will enrich you as you incorporate this tool into your life. Today, we want to share a portion of a transcript from Walking in the Word, our Wednesday offering, where we study God’s Word together, seeking to hear His voice. This podcast originally aired on July 7, 2021. Welcome to Walking in the Word – the Biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders’ podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins. … Our study this week comes from Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6, and Luke 6:6-11 … Before we begin, allow me to pray for us. Dear God, we treasure this time we have to spend together with you in the Word. God, I ask that you sift my words and all of our thoughts as we examine YOUR Word. We thank you, praise you, and honor you - and we long to learn from you! Have your way with us today. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
So last week, we saw the Pharisees on the warpath, so to speak, out to get Jesus and His disciples for breaking the laws of the Sabbath as they picked grain on God’s intended day of rest. We saw that Jesus taught that the heart rules over the law, that the Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath, and that The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27 NLT) This week as we study, we see the battle rage on as the Pharisees strive to find any crack in Jesus armor – to trap Him by His own words – so that they can condemn Him and, more importantly to them, so that THEY will come out on top. WE know the end of the story – we know that the Pharisees seemingly DO win eventually – sending Jesus’ to His own death on a cross. But we also know that in reality, JESUS ultimately wins, as He is resurrected from the dead. And with His resurrection, overcomes ALL sin and death, once for all time and for all people who come to Him and claim Him as their Lord and Savior. But although we already know the end of the story and can claim the blood of Jesus for our own salvation, God has so much more for us to learn as we study who Jesus is and what He said and did on this earth.
PODCAST SPOTLIGHT CONT.
Last week, we essentially learned that Jesus cares so much for us, that as our Provider, we can trust His care and provision even on the Sabbath, and that His love is greater than the law. Today, we dive deeper into that lesson as we see Jesus not only provide food and sustenance to the disciples on the Sabbath, but also provide healing for a man with a shriveled hand with whom He, seemingly, has little previous connection. Mark begins recounting this event in chapter 3, verse 1 Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. (Mark 3:1-2 NLT) Luke says that these “enemies” were The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees. (Luke 6:7 NLT) Now the Sabbath rules, instituted originally by God’s law but added to by man, stated that people could help others on the Sabbath ONLY if someone’s life was in danger. This man’s life was clearly not in danger, but it surely wasn’t fun to have a hand that didn’t work well, especially in a culture that required much labor. I love the intentionality that every word in the Bible holds. We not only learn about Jesus’ care for the smallest issues as He ministers to this man with a non-life-threatening condition, but we also learn of Jesus’ attitude toward this particular man-imposed Sabbath rule. Matthew tells us, The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?” (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) (12:10 NLT) The Pharisees asked a question, hoping to trap Jesus, and Jesus didn’t answer outright, but he DID answer - in a way that made them think. Some would say he answered in the form of a riddle. 16
This got me thinking. When my kids were little, we often played riddle games – sometimes it was to pass the time, but more than that, it was for brain training – a way to help my kids develop critical thinking skills. As humans, we often want the easy answer – no matter what we are dealing with. How often have you pleaded with God – “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it?” But life isn’t that simple. Because WE are made in the image of God, and God isn’t that simple. Our God is wise! And wisdom requires a thorough examination of each situation. Wisdom doesn’t look for the easy answer, and examination and thoroughness take time! They take thought. Maybe that’s why Jesus spoke in “riddles” – to encourage us to step out of ourselves and develop those thinking muscles. To help train our brains. It is the same with all muscles, really – muscles must be developed in order to work at the highest level for which they were created. An Olympic athlete does more than just practice his or her SPORT to become the best in the world – he or she trains with weights, does cardio workouts, and practices yoga for flexibility. When we stretch and exercise our muscles, our minds and bodies react, growing to a higher level. Have you ever watched a children’s movie and thought, Wow, my kids sure enjoyed that, but they missed so much – there was a lot in there for adults? If you have seen the Pixar Toy Story series, you know what I am talking about. It’s a story about toys, but carries numerous undertones, one of which being the heart-wrenching aspect of a child growing up, going off to college, and learning to share an instrumental part of his childhood with another child, younger than himself. I bet you didn’t turn on this podcast and expect to hear about riddles, Olympic athletes, and kids’ movies – but the wisdom that each of these intentionally incorporates, whether we recognize it or not, is simply a shadow of God’s wisdom, of Jesus’ wisdom. So no, Jesus DOESN’T answer the Pharisees’ question directly, but He gives them a greater gift – an opportunity to grow and discover the answer for themselves as they observe Jesus’ actions and listen to His words.
PODCAST SPOTLIGHT CONT.
Matthew records Jesus’ words, chapter 12 verse 11, And he answered, “If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.” (NLT) What a sad commentary on humanity that the people understood the value of a sheep more than they understood the value of a human being. And yet, don’t WE put animals and things over people all the time? How many of us are car or house-poor – making sure that we have the right THINGS, and leaving little left in our monthly finances to help take care of the people that God might bring into our paths? But I digress. The point is that Jesus asked His listeners to think outside the box, to make a correlation, to solve the riddle. If I reason that it is okay to help my sheep on the Sabbath, then I should also be able to help a person on the Sabbath. So Jesus gave them something to think about by His words, and then He gave them something to think about by His actions. Luke 6:8-9 says that Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” So the man came forward. Then Jesus said to his
critics, (not finished with his teaching – aren’t we so glad that Jesus NEVER stops teaching us?) - Then Jesus said to his critics “I have a question for you. Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” (NLT) They undoubtedly knew the answer, but Mark says that they wouldn’t answer him. (Mark 3:4 NLT) But they knew that Jesus knew what they were thinking - or not thinking. I imagine the tension in the air was palpable as Luke says Jesus looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! (Mark 3:5 NLT) Jesus had overruled their authority and had used their own obstinance to put their evil ways on display in front of a large crowd. These were men of God, and men of God were to care for people. They had clearly demonstrated that they were more concerned with their own authority and power than caring for someone else. This could have gone so differently! If only they would have had soft hearts and teachable spirits. One of our daily prayers should be that God would give us teachable hearts – that we would be open to learn His ways rather than to stand obstinately in our own ways.
But it was not to be. Luke continues, At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him. (Luke 6:11 NLT) Mark says, At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus. (Mark 3:6 NLT) So many people were impacted that day. The healed man received the use of his hand, but so many received so much more. Some people probably saw Jesus for the first time, and either understood who He was, the Son of God, or at least walked away seeking wisdom – looking for the answer to the riddle – and opening their minds to what God was going to show them next. Others already knew who Jesus was and soaked in His words and His actions – including His immeasurable display of love. And then there were the Pharisees, who refused to answer the riddle and refused to be awed by God. One commentator put it this way, ”the Pharisees were more loyal to their religious system and pious reputations than to God.” Whatever you are going through today…and I don’t know what that is…one thing is certain: God is there with you and is speaking to you through it – offering you His wisdom. Whether He is healing you or you are watching a loved one die, whether your dreams are being realized or shattered, whether you are feeling in control or thrown to the wind – it is certain that God IS speaking. It may not be clear, and you may have questions. But I encourage you to trust. Ask the questions. And listen with a teachable spirit. God WILL give you His wisdom to walk through today and tomorrow, because He loves you more than you can possibly imagine. Let’s pray. Dear Most Holy God – we know that you are here for us, whether we see you working or not. God, thank you for your Word that continually speaks to us. Help us to be teachable, and to seek to REALLY hear what YOU have to say. Grant us your wisdom, that we may walk in the path that you have provided for us. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Julie Jenkins Teaching and Curriculum Leader firstname.lastname@example.org
A Call to Writers You may be a published author, a first-time writer, or one who just desires to be used by God. Here is your opportunity to be the vessel He uses in one of this years’ multiple books being produced by Women World Leaders and World Publishing and Productions!
to fulfill a plan – in your life and in someone else’s life.
There are two books that we are seeking authors for: Falling Into the Arms of Grace: God Cares for the Caregiver and Miracle Mindset: Finding Hope in the Chaos.
Throughout this year we will encourage you, guide you, and edit and publish your work in one of the multiple books we have coming out for 2022.
• Have you ever been or are currently in the role
of a caregiver for a loved one and had to rely on God for strength, guidance and provision to move forward in your life? • Sometimes God will send us a miracle while we are in the middle of a storm. Do you have the desire to share hope with others who are waiting for their miracle? We've all battled challenges, changes, and redirection in our lives. Your story and how you've overcome adversities with God could be the inspiration someone else needs to get through their difficulties. By reading your story of power and might with all glory given to God, others can receive hope and help in their present circumstances. God says, I declare from the beginning how it will end and foretell from the start what has not yet happened. I declare that my purpose will stand, and I will fulfill my every plan. (Isaiah 46:10 TPT) By sharing your story, you could be the person God uses
Let us help you as we walk a journey alongside you and many other courageous women who are saying "Yes, Lord, here I am, send me."
Women World Leaders is praying for anyone world-wide who God may be nudging at this moment. Remember, He will use a willing heart and we will help you with the rest! Please share this opportunity with anyone God places on your heart who may have a story to share. We all have a story and YOURS may be one of the many shared this year. Whether it be one of these books or another book we are launching this year, we pray God speaks to your heart to share your story. If you are saying "yes," then don't delay and contact us to be part of the team.
CONTACT: Rusanne Jourdan to join “Falling Into the Arms of Grace” email@example.com
or Connie Van Horn & Kelley Rene to join “Miracle Mindset” firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Writings from the Global Office Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)
Empowering Lives with Purpose INSPIRATION What inspires you? As we go through our day-to-day responsibilities and get caught up in the “busyness” of life, it is easy to lose sight of the inspirations that speak to our hearts, moving us forward with positive ideas. I am a creative person, and simply looking at nature – with its sights and sounds and sunshine - can inspire my creative gifting. But that inspiration is rooted in knowing God’s Word, which teaches us who God is and the beauty He has bestowed on this world. The stories in the Bible also motivate me, drawing me further into the Word of God for my inspiration. Scripture propels me forward every day, directing me to live an abundant lifestyle that has value. To me, that is true inspiration. God wants us to experience abundant living, but often we are stuck in a rut with no inspiration to move us on to action. I hope I can inspire you by listing scriptures that might spark ideas of Godly inspiration into your life. After all, God’s Word tells us that All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us. (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT) May these scriptures teach, inspire, and help you as you glean guidance from God’s Word.
1. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE HEADED. God’s Word will guide your footsteps.
7. GROW YOUR FAITH. We cannot grow in our faith unless we read God’s Word.
Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. (Psalm 119:133 NIV)
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. (Romans 10:17 NIV)
2. SEEK WISDOM. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV) 3. FIND SUCCESS. If you follow God’s Word (The Bible), life works. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8 NIV) 4. OBEY GOD. You need to know God and His words to be able to obey them. Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. (Psalm 119:33-35 NIV) 5. LIVE IN PURITY. How can we live a lifestyle of holiness and purity without being cleansed by God’s Word? How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. (Psalm 119:9 ESV) 6. HAVE JOY. You cannot be free of worry or unrest without God’s Word in your heart. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. (Psalm 19:8 NIV)
8. EXPERIENCE FREEDOM. Abiding by God’s Word will set you free. Jesus said, “If you hold My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 NIV) 9. HAVE PEACE. God will give us a peace that the world can never give, but you will not find that comfort without reading God’s Word. Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. (Psalm 119:165 NIV) We should all be inspired to do something good today and every day we live. A terrific way to gain inspiration for this goal and to determine good from evil, since everything has become so relative, is to read God’s Word daily. For as the writer of Psalm 119 wrote, I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 NIV) May we all be inspired by the Word of God and allow it to spur us on to influence our world through our actions.
Kimberly Hobbs Founder & Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org Ephesians 3:20
Biblical Profiles LEAH
ave you ever felt unloved? Whether real or imagined, the feeling of being left out, unloved, or ‘less than’ can be painful. And that pain can send us swirling into depression or immobility. It can be easy to take small facts, or even subjective opinions, and spin them into beliefs about ourselves that keep us from becoming all that God has called us to be. Leah, whose story is told in Genesis 29-35, could surely relate to those feelings as her self-esteem was beaten and battered throughout her life. From the outside, it may have looked like Leah had it all. She was the oldest daughter of Laban and the first wife of Jacob, an important position indeed. But those facts – the oldest and the first – don’t tell the whole story. The first thing we learn about Leah is that she had weak eyes, but Rachel (her younger sister) had a lovely figure and was beautiful. (Genesis 29:17 NIV) Talk about an esteem-crushing comparison! Jacob came to his uncle Laban’s house to find a wife – and he chose beautiful Rachel, Leah’s younger sister, whom he dearly loved. Rachel’s father offered to grant 24
Jacob Rachel’s hand in marriage in exchange for seven years of work, to which smitten Jacob willingly agreed. But Laban switched out his daughters on the wedding day, and Jacob married and consummated his marriage with the less desirable Leah, who was presumably forced to the altar with her face covered in veils. Jacob was furious, so Laban then offered him both his daughters – in exchange for another seven years of work. So this oddly structured family began their lives together. Although Jacob always cared for Leah, he deeply loved Rachel. One story in the Bible tells about when the family left the birth home of the sisters, heading into what could have been dangerous territory. Jacob coordinated the caravan so that Leah walked into danger ahead of his beloved Rachel. I cannot even imagine the amount of restraint and submission Leah had to conjure up that day! You may be wondering then why I said that Leah was chosen. After all, Jacob chose Rachel to be his wife, and he chose to love and protect her over Leah.
Leah was chosen by God. In a time when having children gave a woman honor, and in this family – the godly line of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – where lineage was of extreme importance, Leah became the matriarch of her generation.
laid to rest with Abraham and Isaac. And history remembers her as Judah’s mother – the line through which our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was born. THAT is chosen!
And then Leah, unloved and unsought after by worldly standards, conceived again and again. She had seven natural children in all – and she named each one with growing confidence.
Despite our beauty or lack thereof in the eyes of the world, despite who on earth does or doesn’t choose us, we can each walk with our heads held high as Leah did – because we, too, are chosen and dearly loved by our almighty Father in heaven. We can combat any downward spiral that threatens to engulf and immobilize us by remembering that we were created individually by a God who loves us more than we can imagine for a purpose that He determined for each of us.
First Reuben - Because the Lord has seen my misery. (Gen 29:32 NIV)
Leah was chosen. By the One who matters. And that One has also chosen you.
Then Simeon - Because the Lord heard that I am not loved. (Gen 30:33 NIV)
You can trust that the God who chose you sees you and knows what you are going through. He loves you with a love that is beyond your understanding. He will provide you with an honor that no human ever could. He knows your heart’s deepest desires and yearnings, even those you don’t yet recognize. And our God, who is able, will care for you and love you and provide for you more than you can ask or imagine!
When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive. (Genesis 29:31 NIV)
Next Levi - At last my husband will become attached to me. (Gen 29:34 NIV) And then, with a sinking in of whose love matters most, Judah – This time I will praise the Lord. (Gen 29:34) There is much more to Leah’s story and her battle for self-confidence and significance. But throughout her life, she never let rejection or what others thought of her derail her from who God called her to be. As we read what little we know about Leah, it is clear that she grows as she allows God to love her. Upon her death, Leah is
We can combat any downward spiral that threatens to engulf and immobilize us by remembering that we were created individually by a God who loves us more than we can imagine for a purpose that He determined for each of us. Take it from Leah. God has chosen you. So keep walking. And keep holding close to Him – with the assurance that He will never leave you out; because you are loved more than you can possibly imagine.
Julie Jenkins Teaching and Curriculum Leader email@example.com
od profoundly touched my heart, my inner being, to join with Him to co-create this painting for “His children.” As two of my very dear friends were going through major health challenges, God put a burning desire in me to begin this painting, so that others could receive His pure, fatherly love. As I started with the down-strokes of yellows and pinks, I felt this was God’s glory and healing raining down; then I began to paint the purple and realized I was painting angel wings. God said, “You are painting Psalm 91.” This scripture has been on everyone’s hearts recently, and His wrap-around comfort and love pour forth from this painting, so that each of His children may claim it as her own. Psalm 91:1 (TPT) tells us, “When you sit enthroned under the shadow of Shaddai, you are hidden in the strength of God Most High.” Enthroned means one seated as royalty - purple represents royalty. As you look at the angel wings, you will see that they have been painted as the underneath of the wing, as though they are about to cover, protect, and shelter. They are massive wings - shields to protect. Ps 91:4: “His massive arms are wrapped around you, protecting you. You can run under his covering of majesty and hide. His arms of faithfulness are a shield keeping you from harm.” Every feather has minute detail, representing the fact that the Father knows every detail about us and cares deeply. The figure is Our Father, our refuge; He is inviting us into His loving embrace. He is in the distance, but the lower part of His robe is at the forefront - for He goes before us in every circumstance. I am praying that as you meditate on this painting, Psalm 91 comes alive and interacts with your heart. Believe for healings. Remember my two friends for whom God had me paint this? One has received complete healing from the Lord as her tumor has completely disappeared! The other has had minor healings – and we are believing for a complete healing from our healing God, Jehovah-Rapha.
“Then God said, ‘Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind.’” genesis 1:20 NLT
Lillian Cucuzza hiscreationsllc.com
BAND OF BROTHERS Please join us for a four day bootcamp! Thursday, Nov. 10-Sunday, Nov. 13th Register at www.bandofbrothersfl.com
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A PHOTO COLUMN FROM
Created Uniquely by the Father B Y J E S S I C A M O R N E A U LT
s I photographed this stunning male peacock, I found myself mesmerized by the amazing colors and patterns showcased in his feathers. If God put this much detail into this one creation, what intricate thoughts must have occurred when He created each of us in His image? Long before we were born, the Lord had a special plan and purpose for each of us. At some point, maybe you’ve questioned why you are here or what God has in mind for you. Be patient and listen expectantly. The Lord will reveal your gifts and talents to you. If you can pray, then pray for others. If you can sing, then worship passionately. If you can listen, then lend an ear. If you can teach, then share His glorious message. Know just how important you are in His eyes. You were created uniquely by the Father. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14, NIV) Jessica Morneault is a wife and mother who uses her photography to bring awareness to ministries. She is also the photographer for Women World Leaders.
COLLEGE COURAGE Our Comfort and Protector BY SARAH JENKINS
hen I was little, it was customary for me to wake up in the middle of the night.
In my younger years, this meant a trip to my parents’ room and the reassurance of finding a place in their bed. I found comfort in knowing that, despite the queen-sized bed being made for two, my parents always found a way to make room for a third. On these nights, my mother would tell me to imagine colors dancing around on a white screen. My father would tell me to imagine the ocean, to envision the constant crashing of waves against the shoreline. Everyone has their thing, the one that coaxed them back to dreamland, often embedded in their brain by those that ran the home that raised them. They provide a sense of familiarity, one that transcends all spaces and times and simply provides the feeling of home no matter where in the world you might be. My recent shift from college to what some call the action of “adulting” has been a conundrum for me. I wake up in my new city to go to my new job to be accompanied by the new characters that occupy my life - it all feels so new. Perhaps that’s why I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night. And perhaps that’s why the colors and the ocean are the only things that bring me back to sleep. It’s not truly about the colors and the ocean but rather the ones that spoke them to life - it’s about the people that made room for me in their bed only made for two. It’s about clinging to the lessons they taught me and the values they instilled in me. It’s about making a home for myself, just as they made for me. New beginnings are scary, but the language of comfort spoken by a parent is what paves a well-lit path. And that’s exactly what God does for us.
As I navigate this new season of my life, I can’t help but think about all the ways God has protected me even in the times I don’t fully see them, all the times He’s provided the vision of colors and the ocean to allow me to re-enter my slumber each night. I, self-admittedly, get too distracted by the landscape of my life to pause and recognize the familiarity and protection He’s provided to make each of my days better. Psalm 121:7-8 tells us, The Lord will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. (NIV) While I’m thankful for protection from the harm, I more often think about how He keeps watch over my life, something I always thought of my parents doing for me. On the nights when I couldn’t sleep, my parents were on guard, watching me until I fell asleep with the visions of colors and the ocean dancing around my head. Now I’m older, and they watch me blaze my own trail through the adult world, still keeping watch but emboldening me to take each step on my own. God is watching us as the ultimate parent, cheering us on in each moment and placing choices in our decisive hands. He knows what we will ultimately choose, yet He provides us protection from all we don’t see ahead. In the moments when things get hard, that guard manifests itself as comfort - it’s the colors and the ocean that bring us back to sleep. He has always been our protector, but He speaks our language of comfort, too. Sarah is a recent graduate of Florida State University, with degrees in Political Science and Public Relations. She has a distinct love and passion for people, often translated through the art of writing. Sarah has committed her future to the power of communicating well in the sphere of politics, while praising the God who will get her there!
MUSINGS ON THE BOOK OF JOHN Truth Shared BY CONNIE HECKER JOHN 3: 1-3 NIV Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
et there be no doubt. The religious rulers understood the signs. God was speaking to Israel after 400 years of silence. Four hundred years is 15 generations to forget the experiences of history. But those religious scholars had not given up their faith. God would speak again. So, when Jesus showed up, they showed up. Nic (I like to call him that for short) - at night (pun intended) - addresses Jesus as “Rabbi.” Was Nic a seeker? Of what was he certain? He was certain that Jesus was a teacher and that God was with Jesus. Nic also used the words “we know,” showing that other members of the ruling council were also aware that the signs Jesus was doing proved that God was with him. How does Jesus respond to Nic’s statement? Is he questioning Jesus? Challenging Him? Showing honor? Giving an appeal? Jesus skips over all the political implications of who Nicodemus represents
and goes straight to Nic’s heart. Not distracted nor intimidated by Nic’s position of power, Jesus speaks directly to the man’s heart. “Very truly” (or “listen up” in today’s terms) “Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus, a man of authority and power in both religious and political spheres, wanted to see the kingdom of God. Thus Jesus speaks to the man’s heart to save the man’s soul. Do I do that when I share truth with a seeker? Do I allow myself to recognize the heart of the person who may be in a position of authority over me? Do I look with the heart of Jesus in order to notice a struggling soul? Jesus declares truth and then waits for a response. Clearly, his words make no sense to Nicodemus.
Do I look with the heart of Jesus in order to notice a struggling soul?
Jesus gives Nicodemus time to contemplate, process, think, and even time to be confused. He gives pondering time: to seek understanding and choose how far to go in the desire for truth. Time tests sincerity. How much does Nic want to know?
Am I living truth with such visibility that my connection with God speaks for itself and causes others to think?
Do I let others take time to seek, ponder, and commit to the search for truth? Am I living truth with such visibility that my connection with God speaks for itself and causes others to think? Nic left his crowd to seek Jesus in His crowd.
Do I trust Jesus enough to leave my crowd, search out the truth, turn to Him for explanation and allow my mind to travel new paths of understanding? How much do I want to know? How far am I willing to go to understand? How much do I desire truth? Lord, let me follow you today. Please help me be willing to recognize others’ needs for you despite their uniform or position of authority, even over me. Let me be more like you, able to speak a clear word, not a diatribe, but a word of truth, and then be silent and wait as my listener’s heart responds. Father, when I, like Nicodemus, do not understand your plainly spoken truth, help me seek you, and lead me out of the ruts of my thinking, so that I may be renewed in my mind with new insight, new understanding and grow in my love and awe that I may trust in your loving, gentle ways. Amen. 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.
Forgive NOW B Y C A R O LY N J O Y
he definition of the word forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. The definition of forgiveness takes it one step further: to make a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve or accept your forgiveness. As a Momma and Nonna of a large family, I sure do know how easy it is to hurt or offend, say or do something wrong, or legitimately sin against someone. Even the best of us are sinful people with flaws and offenses who make mistakes.
As the Bible says in Hebrews 12:15 (ESV), See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. To understand forgiveness, let’s first examine what unforgiveness looks like. Unforgiveness is when you are unwilling or unable to forgive someone for hurting you, betraying you, breaking your trust, or causing you intense emotional pain. Unforgiveness creates an emotional storm of distress in which feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, insecurity, and fear surface. Unforgiveness also creates a hardened
heart, and feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, and hatred toward the offender. Unforgiveness toward one person can affect a whole family. Likewise, forgiveness toward one family member can change the temperature of an entire family gathering and the bonds that grow between family and friends throughout the years. Unforgiveness that kills family bonding can exist between parents, children, siblings, grandparents, friends, aunts, uncles, or cousins, just to name a few.
When we don’t forgive, we release all the chemicals of a stress response. You can’t change the past. There’s nothing you can do to remove the harm others have caused you. When we don’t forgive, we release all the chemicals of a stress response. You can’t change the past. There’s nothing you can do to remove the harm others have caused you. However, not forgiving damages our mood—we see our lives through a lens of vengeance, hostility, resentment, anger, and sadness. I have heard the description that “unforgiveness is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” The Bible says in Matthew 6:14-15 (ESV), For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. How do we forgive? A better question to ask is: Do I harbor any unforgiveness in my heart? As the Bible says in Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV), Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way of understanding. Is there someone who has hurt or offended you and now you cannot be in the same room with them? Perhaps, you have not forgiven them. Is there someone who has sinned against you and you wish them ill? Quite possibly, you harbor unforgiveness. Is there someone you know who makes you anxious, mad, or resentful? Do you ever find yourself wanting to emotionally hurt someone? Do you lash out in anger or vengeance?
I am not saying forgiveness is easy. In fact, it may be the most difficult action and emotion for us to recognize the necessity for and to extend and release. The more people we know, the more relationships we have; and the bigger our families and the larger our circle of friends are, the more we can get hurt. But even as we care for our own hearts and well-being, we need to forgive the people who have caused us pain. Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV) You are responsible for your heart, your mind, your body, and your emotional well-being. Search your heart. Turn your heart and your offender over to God. You will be amazed at how wonderful forgiveness can feel. Offer forgiveness NOW, and watch God use that to change the world of the people around you.
Search your heart. Turn your heart and your offender over to God. You will be amazed at how wonderful forgiveness can feel. Nonna’s Chuckle: My three-year-old granddaughter was having a rough time, misbehaving all day. In an effort to offer forgiveness and change the underlying mood, my daughter said, “Do you know that no matter what you do or say, I still love you with all my heart?” My granddaughter looked up with weeping eyes and responded, “Well, I still love you with all my body!” Sometimes our hurt and pain run so deep it takes our whole body to forgive! 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 include writing prompts and encourage memorization of scriptures and writing out prayers. Her fiction novel, Out of the Grey Zone, demonstrates God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
“I have told you these things, so
that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
JOHN 16:13, NIV
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HOLY HUSH Part IX B Y D E B O R A H WAT S O N Women World Leaders is pleased to present Holy Hush, written by Deborah J. Watson. Deborah is the Executive Director of Studio222films.com and curator of the Branson International Film Festival. A writer, producer, and director in the film industry, Deborah uses her talent to reach hurting people with a message of hope. Holy Hush is written as an allegorical narrative based on scripture and Deborah’s Christian worldview. Rebekka, the main character that we are traveling with, is on a journey of making a life decision of living with or without her husband, Aaron. Progressing through this difficult time, Rebekka notices the “little things” circling her life and leading her to a decision. As the story unfolds (Holy Hush began in the January 2021 edition of VOT), we see this thirty-something-year-old city girl steal away into the wilderness to 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.
Part IX “Take me home.” She whispers. The captain complies as he kills the engine and hoists the sails to allow the wind to carry her home. Rebekka watches for the docks on the horizon. A trip that should have taken a couple of hours happens in mere minutes. She cranes her neck to see if Aaron is waiting for her on the docks. Even if he was, they are still too far away to see distinct features of people. The captain approaches Rebekka, “Want to learn how to lower the sails?” Rebekka smiles, “No. Hopefully, this is the last sailboat ride I have to take. Nothing personal. I am just not a fan of the water.” “What about the waves of peace?” The captain smiles as he lowers the sails. “I think those can come at any time, whenever forgiveness is extended.” Rebekka reaches over and holds the steering wheel steady as they near the harbor. “Dock 12?” She asks the captain. “No. Dock 2. Slip 22.” The captain takes over the steering wheel as Rebekka watches him skillfully maneuver around fishing boats, jet skis, and swimmers. A task she would not have been able to achieve. “Ahoy!” Felicity’s voice rings from Dock 2. Rebekka waves and looks frantically for Aaron to be with her. “How was your trip?” Felicity enquires as she walks with them to Slip 22. “A little slower than yours, obviously, but good.” The captain replies. Rebekka looks around and realizes they did not return to the same location they had departed from, and she is confused. But her confusion is calmed by Felicity’s presence. Felicity knows all about Aaron and Rebekka’s situation, and Rebekka knows she will have the answers she needs as soon as they return to the house. Rebekka’s excitement is evident and signals Felicity that she has succeeded at forgiving Aaron and herself for what happened. “It’s a good thing I don’t believe in reincarnation because you look as happy as a new puppy coming home,” Felicity yells toward Rebekka. Rebekka laughs. She laughs so hard she nearly doubles over. “I haven’t felt this magnificent in a very, very long time.”
HOLY HUSH CONT.
The captain kills the engine as the boat slides into the slip. Then, he jumps onto the dock and ties it off before helping Rebekka disembark. Her excitement to talk with Felicity causes her to forget her bag tucked under the seat on the boat. “I had never understood what it meant to harbor unforgiveness until I reached the edge of what it does to my soul.” “Most people don’t,” Felicity replies as she walks toward her vehicle. “They bury it like a heavy anchor that holds them down and makes their heart cold and hard, unable to love unconditionally again.” Rebekka’s eyes widen. “I can totally see that.” Then she stops. “The captain? For a moment he looked like Aaron. Why is that?” Felicity stops and smiles, “That happens often. When someone is liberated, they often see their loved ones reflected in the captain’s face.” Rebekka races ahead of Felicity. “Well, I’m ready to go home and tell Aaron all about it. Let’s go!” Felicity’s shoulders slump as she watches her sister run ahead of her to their car. She had hoped that the trip across the lake would help bring Rebekka back to reality. Now, she’s not so sure.
WHAT WE LEARNED Change starts with a decision. Sometimes whispered. Always heard. Rebekka has grasped the power of forgiveness and how it brings waves of peace to help her move forward. Even though she still holds onto part of her past, she embraces this “Holy Hush” that has transformed her outlook on life. No more having a hunger for revenge or even justice. She is now only filled with love and forgiveness. Let brotherly love continue. Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them— those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:1-6 NKJV) The Greek word for “brotherly” is Philadelphia, meaning fraternal affection. It stems from hussopos. Yes. The word is hyssop. The same thing that was placed in Jesus’ mouth as He hung on the cross. Walking in love and forgiveness the way God calls us can taste bitter when taken in. But when given out? Miracles happen. What have you had to do that tastes bitter in the moment but, in the aftermath, has allowed God-sized miracles to happen for you? The kind that are so transforming that those close to you think you are out of touch with reality? Share your testimony with someone to encourage their soul. Who knows. Maybe one day, they too will understand the magnificent beauty of transformation that comes through forgiveness.
LOVE NOT ES I look forward to receiving this magazine because it brings me joy. I am encouraged through the writings and the scriptures, they seem to inspire me at just the right time. Every edition so far has been a God-send to my soul and to the friends I decide to share it with. Thank you Voice of Truth for making my day when I open my mailbox and it’s right in front of me in all it’s beauty. STEPHANIE HALE - HUDSON, OHIO 40
A FOCUS ON HIM Camo Wolf - Hiding Behind A Mask BY LILLIAN CUCUZZA
or the last two years, the world has been living behind a mask for safety reasons due to Covid– 19. At the same time (and this is not a political statement), the masks have hidden our facial expressions, whether we are smiling, happy, mad, angry, talking under our breath, or even sleeping with our mouths open on an airplane. It has made it difficult for others to discern our emotions or make a connection. This photo of the wolf hiding behind a stump is a metaphor for the mask. He was using the stump as a mask to camouflage and blend in with his environment. He was hiding his true self as he stalked his prey. In the same way, the Covid mask has allowed us to blend in with our environment. But it doesn’t conceal who we really are! It doesn’t hide our heart! We may be hiding behind a mask and think we are fooling others, but we are not fooling God, for He sees our heart. Our heart determines who we really are because it holds our core values. As written in Proverbs 23:7, For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJV) Everything we do comes from our heart! King Solomon warned in Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Jesus tells us in Luke 6:45 (NIV) that what is inside of us always comes out. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. This photo raises questions we need to ask ourselves. Are we being our authentic selves, or are we hiding behind a mask? Are we the same person in our business and home as we are in our church, or are we just a Sunday Christian? Our pastor closes every Sunday service with this command: “Go out and be the church!” Are we blending in with the world, or standing out for Jesus? Are we afraid to step into the calling that God has for us, thinking we’re not worthy enough, therefore we hide behind whatever we can hide behind using it as a mask? Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 (NIV), Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of
your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. We need to be authentic to be who God made us to be. How hard is it to be that person God is calling us to be? Paul states in some of his letters who he is – Paul, a servant of the Lord. God reassures us that it’s not by our own power but by His Spirit. ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6, NIV) Being authentic takes courage. We may be hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and even struck down by the world for being our true selves and standing out for Jesus. Paul encourages us in 2 Cor 4:7-9 (NIV), But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. Have I hidden my authenticity behind a mask in my past? Absolutely! But since I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, He’s been working on me from the inside out so that when I get squeezed by the pressures of this world, just like a tube of toothpaste gets squeezed, more of Him comes out instead of gunk! He’s helping me be my true, authentic self that He made me to be. I’m still a work in progress, and I have a long way to go, but God is doing a work in me to conform me to His image rather than the world’s image. He is giving me the courage to stand up for Jesus and share the Good News with everyone. Praise God for His goodness, mercy, and grace! I have finally taken my mask off! Are you willing to take yours off, too? 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.
REKINDLE: KEEPING FIRST LOVE ALIVE B Y L I N D S E Y S U L L I VA N
still remember those first days after I gave my heart to the Lord. A wide-eyed, hungry-hearted 16-yearold girl, I had never experienced a love like His before. The sweetness of Jesus had captured my heart, and I was forever changed. However, it took me a few years to grow into my newfound relationship with God. That burning passion and overwhelming desire to love Christ that I once knew soon faded into what felt like work and routine. To my disappointment, there is no full-proof 10-step program for building a relationship with an invisible God. As a result, I often found myself vacillating between intense seasons of devotion and days where I struggled to put Him first. As I came to discover, staying in love is not as easy as falling into it. The Word of God actually addresses this very dilemma in the Song of Songs. In this text, the Shulamite bride, representing God’s bride, His church (that’s us!), begins by praising her lover, the Bridegroom, who represents Christ. “Your love is better than wine,” she exclaims (SOS 1:2 ESV) and asks the Bridegroom to draw her away so they can be together. At this beautiful moment, she is falling deeply in love. And the Bridegroom is too! He responds to her, praising her beauty and proclaiming that she has ravished His heart with a single glance of her eyes. Oh, that we ravish the Lord’s heart when we look at Him and seek Him! But later in the text, when the Bridegroom comes knocking in her dream, the bride opens the door too late, missing her opportunity to be with Him. She mourns, crying, “I had put off my garment; how could I put it on? I had bathed my feet; how could I soil them?” (SOS 5:3 ESV) Haven’t we all been like the bride, washing our feet of our sin and giving our hearts to Jesus only to return to what the world offers as we forsake our first love? I know I have fallen into this trap countless times, and I always regret it. However, rather than continuing to mourn over her sin, the bride goes out to seek her beloved. She searches for Him restlessly and ends up being attacked by the city watchmen in the process. Yet she is determined to find Him and cries out, “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if you find my beloved, that you tell him I am sick with love.” (SOS 5:8 ESV) We can learn a lot from the Shulamite bride. First, we should continue to be lovesick for more of Jesus. And despite our mistakes of wandering, we can enthusiastically chase after our beloved. God wants us to throw off our shame and regret! So wipe your face and seek Him! He is the only thing worth seeking, after all.
Dear reader, I invite you into the pages of my journal from May 23, 2018
My sweet Lord,
Help me to remember
How easily I forget
Your face and Your hands That once embraced me,
Embrace me once more,
Remind me of Your love
And the love we share,
Written all around and within me
These daily testimonies of love abounding
Quicken me once again to Your presence As I reach out to know You,
I f only for a moment, I know it would all be worth it And You return my seeking with the kisses of Your perfect presence.
So this sweet kiss shall last a lifetime This sweet kiss shall last a lifetime.
Lindsey Sullivan is an artist, musician, and songwriter who spends her free time writing songs for the Lord. She graduated from Pepperdine University in 2021 with a degree in journalism and currently works as a freelance editor, worship leader, and music instructor in Southwest Florida. Connect with Lindsey at alabasterheart.co
JOURNEY WITH JESUS: NUGGETS FROM THE GOSPEL OF MARK Misunderstood (Mark 1:35-39, NIV) B Y R E V. L I S A M O R R I S O N
ave you ever been misunderstood? It doesn’t feel so great. Does it? I recorded a devotional for our church the other night and afterward, one of our members texted thanking me for something I hadn’t said. I was puzzled at first but came to realize she misunderstood the point I was trying to make. Sometimes we can be misunderstood, and other times, we may be the ones doing the misunderstanding. In Mark 1:35-39, we find Jesus being misunderstood by his disciples. They were with Him as He was teaching and healing, yet they, like the religious leaders and crowds, misunderstand Him. As members of His inner circle, we’d expect the disciples to get Jesus, yet like my member on the inside, misunderstanding does take place. What is it the disciples misunderstand? Prior to Jesus getting up early and going to a solitary place to pray (v. 35) He healed many who had various diseases and drove out many demons (v. 34). The disciples thought all these miracles taking place were super, and, of course, they are! They want more. They love being Jesus’ inside crew as He performs miracles and casts out demons. It’s exciting! While Jesus is off praying in a solitary place after healing many people, his disciples go looking for Him. They don’t understand why He is not healing more people since the line is out the door. But don’t confuse enthusiasm with faith. When the disciples catch up with Jesus, they speak to Him in a condescending manner. This is more evident
in the original Greek. Everyone is looking for you! (v. 37) The Greek term for looking means to attempt to determine and control rather than to submit and follow. The disciples have a major attitude problem reflecting a lack of understanding of who Jesus is and what His mission is. The danger of misunderstanding here is the tension rising over Jesus’ mission and others’ agenda for Him. If the disciples understood who Jesus was, they would never speak to Him in a condescending manner, and they would not seek to put their agenda of more healings over Jesus’ mission of Let us go somewhere else – so I can preach for that is why I have come (38). It’s one thing to be misunderstood, but it’s another thing to misunderstand who Jesus is and His mission. May we not find ourselves like the disciples misunderstanding who Jesus is and thereby seeking to control Him and His mission. May we always seek to recognize who He is and submit to following Him and His mission. Lisa Morrison is an ordained minister, having served as pastor, and staff pastor in several positions in the local church, as well as in district ministerial and educational leadership. She’s been an Adjunct Instructor at various educational institutions of higher learning, teaching in the Religion Department. She holds two master’s degrees and a postgraduate degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.
USE YOUR VOICE
od gave me this beautiful vision that as mothers and daughters we all wear an apron, and we each need to be aware of what is in our apron pocket. God has given all of us tools and gifts that we store in our pocket. Is it time to wield those tools and allow them to magnify your worthy and valued voice? The gift that has been given to you and that you have the power to exhibit for others may be painting, baking, singing, speaking, writing words or music, creativity, sharing your compassion - the list goes on. Collectively as women we have so many gifts - it’s time we each use these gifts in declaration. The lion of Judah is roaring with thunder through you. He is using your voice. He gave you these gifts to use for this purpose. Put on your apron as your armor and use your gifts as your weaponry. Be courageous and don’t be afraid to be the Warrior Woman. Lynne is a professional prophetic artist who has had a diverse art career of over 40 years. Her art has been showcased in many art exhibitions throughout Australia and NYC. Lynne is our prophetic artist for Voice of Truth. She also has her own ministry of teaching and painting prophetic art. Lynne resides on the Gold Coast.
www.lynnehudson.com email@example.com Instagram: Lynne Hudson Art Facebook: Lynne Hudson Spiritual Paintings
A BEAUTIFUL MESS BY JESSICA PRUKNER
ummer memories have been made, and it’s that time of year again when we try to find a routine and start the adventures of the new school year. I remember the first year we homeschooled as a family; we took a break for summer vacation and came back to the fall new school year. It was a total disaster! My kids seemed to forget their ABCs and how to do basic addition. I was horrified that I had done such a poor job at teaching the year prior that they had forgotten everything. Looking back 7 years later, I now laugh at those moments of sheer panic. As we start the new school year, I am reminded to look outside of the basic foundations of education and look at my kids from a big picture view. It is helpful to see your kids as whole individuals, fearfully and wonderfully made by God. There are so many areas of growth that occur in our kids; it is unfair to only judge or view learning in a strict educational grading manner. When I choose to step back and see my kids from a whole-person view, I can see so many areas where they have excelled and experienced growth. I see a window into how God is directing their lives and paths by shaping their likes and interests. Seeing the doors open for them to walk in their purpose and grow in strength and character is exhilarating as their parent. I can appreciate the relationships that help form their beliefs and feelings. It truly is amazing to watch their lives unfold before my eyes. So instead of coming back from summer and entering the new school year with stress and doubts like I once did, I encourage you to stop, sit, and journal about the growth you have seen
in each of your kids since the summer and then find ways to enhance and encourage continued learning and discovery in the new school year. A friend once told me something I never forgot: it’s not about raising super-smart kids, it’s about raising kids who love God and love His people. Yes, we want our kids to excel in their grades, but remember, grades don’t determine the heart of the kid. Make sure we are focusing on raising and maturing their hearts for the Lord, not just kids that make good grades. When you think about it from this perspective, everything becomes a little less stressful as we trust God more to do the real heart-work. This idea also gives our kids freedom to not focus on just their ABCs and math work, but on discovering and thinking about how God made them, for their special calling and purpose. My oldest is entering high school this year and I am in a bit of shock at how fast the time has passed by. It’s never too early to start directing them in their God-given calling, and it’s never too late. Make the most of every moment because the saying is true, “The days are long and the years are short.” Don’t get so caught up in the homeschool stress that you forget to make the most of the little moments you are given.
It’s never too early to start directing them in their Godgiven calling, and it’s never too late.
FAITH WALK In His Refuge BY DR. CHIDI KALU
will never forget the year 2011. I was involved in an accident. My pregnant sister-in-law and my youngest brother were in the car with me. We were on our way to church when a guy who was texting while driving slammed into us. We were thrown all over the place. I tried my best to steer the car away from boulders and electric poles on the four-lane highway. I was terrified. At that very moment, Jesus was our only savior. As I attempted to steer the vehicle, there really was no safe place. The truck slammed into us again and again and again, creating an awful banging sound of crunching metal. Life flashed before my eyes. “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” My sister-inlaw, sitting in the back, kept screaming the blood of Jesus. My brother with Down syndrome didn’t make a sound. I can only imagine his thoughts as he was thrown about on the side of the car that got hit the most.
Life flashed before my eyes. “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” 50
The accident happened so fast. It was extremely scary. The promise from Psalm 46:1, God, you’re such a safe and powerful place to find refuge! You’re a proven help in time of trouble— more than enough and always available whenever I need you became very real to us. After what seemed like an eternity, our entire fate rested in the hands of God. He performed a miracle right then and there. A very bright light, like headlights being turned on, blinded me. I had no clue what was happening. I could barely see. The sensation of a gigantic balloon lifted the entire vehicle off the ground and placed it by the swamp next to the road. We somehow made it to the other side of the busy fourlane highway next to an electric transformer but were unharmed. The overturned truck landed on the transformer and got stuck. But the driver and his passenger climbed out without injuries. All we could say was Thank you, Jesus, for saving us. God indeed worked a miracle that night, not a single person was hurt.
The driver was very apologetic. His girlfriend was hysterical, knowing a fight between the pair led to the texting that caused the situation. We were praying for them when the ambulance, police, and fire personnel arrived. Instead of getting angry, we shared the love of God with them. The police chief was puzzled and asked if we were angels. God not only delivered us from what could have been a deadly incident, but two souls gave their lives to Jesus at the scene.
God not only delivered us from what could have been a deadly incident, but two souls gave their lives to Jesus at the scene. Regardless how terrible your circumstances are, call on God for help. He is our deliverer, our protector, our very present help in times of trouble. You can hold on to His Word from Psalm 91:14-15 (TPT), For here is what the Lord has spoken to me: “Because you loved me, delighted in me, and have been loyal to my name, I will greatly protect you. I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will feel my presence in your time of trouble. I will deliver you and bring you honor. By faith, believe He is always with you to bring you through. He shall preserve you and your life. Dr. Chidi Kalu has taught in the areas of Management, Customer Service, and Leadership Development for many years. She is the founder of Women of Distinction and God’s VIP Inc. On a regular basis, she delivers messages of encouragement, hope, love, and faith by empowering and equipping women of all walks of life after a significant life event to a new and powerful beginning. As a prolific speaker, Chidi ministers to both the secular and non-secular world with a strong cutting-edge word. She is an author, Empowerment Coach, and Corporate Trainer committed to the ministry of the gospel with a heart and passion to see all of God’s children live a fulfilling life centered on Jesus Christ. She currently serves as a leader and consultant to her local church in Atlanta, GA. She loves to pray and encourage members of Women World Leaders- a global outreach ministry with a vision to help women discover their lifework and purpose within God’s design.
EVER INTERCEDING When You Don’t Know How to Pray BY DIANA BROWN
got off the phone with the Hospice nurse. Her words were ringing in my ears. ”Diana, I am sorry to tell you that your aunt passed away at 3:20 this morning.”
I immediately sensed God’s care as 3:20 is a significant time. The Bible verse that Women World Leaders was founded on is Ephesians 3:20, and, to honor that, many of us pray for the ministry at 3:20 pm daily. Even in my grief, the Lord reminded me that HE is in charge and in control. Nevertheless, I was in tears - broken, sad, and confused. I didn’t know what to pray or how to pray. This was the place where I recently found myself with the passing of my aunt. Words failed me. I leaned into Jesus, trusting that He intercedes for me in my weakness, giving me the Holy Spirit’s power to connect me with our gracious Father. Sometimes, we are simply at a loss for words when we come to God in prayer. We find ourselves sitting in His presence with no idea how to proceed. We know that Jesus intercedes for us before the Father, but we don’t understand how Christ’s prayers help us in our time of need when we ourselves feel at a loss for how to pray. So I reached for my phone to play the “Casting Crowns” song, Scars in Heaven. The words to Scars in Heaven reminded me that, like everything in my faith walk, my prayers don’t depend on my own ability to pray but on Jesus. Please, pause to listen to the song. The words pointed me to the truth—that I am not on my own, that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and He is the one holding my aunt now. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18 ESV) Even when our faith is floundering, Jesus intercedes for us. Jesus, the Son of God, after His death, resurrection, and ascension, was seated at the right hand of the Father on high. When we suffer trials and temptations, God the Son intercedes on our behalf before the Father. Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25 ESV)
What’s more, because Jesus prays for us, we can confidently bring our prayers before the throne of God. Hebrews 4:16 says, Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (ESV) But how can Jesus’ unheard prayers comfort us in our time of need when we feel at a loss for how to pray? How can He help when He isn’t here in the flesh to tell us what to pray? Jesus promised that when He left this earth to reign in Heaven, He would send us something even better than the Son in the flesh—the Spirit in us. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. (John 14:16 ESV) While Christ Himself prays for us and His intercession allows our prayers to reach God, the Holy Spirit also helps us in our prayers. Romans 8:26 says, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (ESV) When I didn’t have the words to pray, and my heart was burdened and sad, the Holy Spirit interceded for me. God isn’t seeking a perfect prayer performance, but He seeks a humble reliance on the Holy Spirit as we bring our requests before Him. The Holy Spirit helps us know what to pray and prays for us Himself. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27 ESV) When our prayers are exasperated by our limited understanding and fickle emotions, He is praying on our behalf. He takes the anxieties in our minds and the troubles in our hearts to the Father for us. We have the freedom to bring every care and concern, every need and desire, before God the Father. Humbly, we can trust that the Holy Spirit communicates for us better than we ever could. As I pondered my heartbreaking phone call and listened to Scars in Heaven, the Holy Spirit ministered to me, bringing peace in the midst of my tears. I still didn’t have the words to express my sorrow, but I trusted that the same Jesus who saved me through His death was now holding me in His life. And I can approach God with full assurance of faith because Jesus is faithful. (Hebrews 10:22-23) Even when I can’t understand what is going on in my heart and mind, the Holy Spirit speaks on my behalf, asking for what I truly need, according to God’s will.
Even when I can’t understand what is going on in my heart and mind, the Holy Spirit speaks on my behalf, asking for what I truly need, according to God’s will. The next time you don’t know what to pray, read one of Christ’s prayers for you, perhaps His high priestly prayer in John 17, which is a record of Christ’s prayer not only for His disciples then but also for His Church today. When you are at a loss for words, remind yourself that the Word of God made flesh prays for you. He prays that you will grow in the knowledge of God, feel the assurance of faith, unite with other believers, experience the fullness of His joy, be protected from the enemy’s schemes, and be sanctified according to His Word. It is comforting to know the Holy Spirit is ever interceding on our behalf. * Songwriters: John Mark Hall / Matthew Joseph West. Scars in Heaven lyrics © Anthem Entertainment Lp, Essential Music Publishing. Healer CD Track 2.
SIEMPRE INTERCEDIENDO Cuando no sabes cómo orar
POR DIANA BROWN Colgué el teléfono con la enfermera del hospicio. Sus palabras resonaban en mis oídos. “Diana, lamento decirte que tu tía falleció a las 3:20 de esta mañana”. Inmediatamente sentí el cuidado de Dios ya que 3:20 es un tiempo significativo. El versículo bíblico en el que se fundó Women World Leaders es Efesios 3:20 y, para honrar eso, muchas de nosotras oramos por el ministerio a las 3:20 pm. todos los días. Incluso en mi dolor, el Señor me recordó que ÉL está a cargo y en control. Sin embargo, estaba llorando, rota, triste y confundida. No sabía qué orar o cómo orar. Este fue el lugar donde me encontré recientemente con el fallecimiento de mi tía. Las palabras me fallaron. Me apoyé en Jesús, confiando en que Él intercede por mí en mi debilidad, dándome el poder del Espíritu Santo para conectarme con nuestro Padre misericordioso. A veces, simplemente nos quedamos sin palabras cuando venimos a Dios en oración. Nos encontramos sentados en Su presencia sin tener idea de cómo proceder. Sabemos que Jesús intercede por nosotros ante el Padre, pero no entendemos cómo las oraciones de Cristo nos ayudan en nuestro momento de necesidad cuando nosotros mismos nos sentimos perdidos sobre cómo orar. Así que tomé mi teléfono para colocar la canción “Casting Crowns,” Scars in Heaven. Las palabras de Scars in Heaven me recordaron que, como todo en mi camino de fe, mis oraciones no dependen de mi propia capacidad para orar sino de Jesús. Por favor, hagan una pausa para escuchar la canción.
Las palabras me señalaron la verdad: que no estoy sola, que el Señor está cerca de los que tienen el corazón quebrantado, y Él es quien sostiene a mi tía ahora. El Señor está cerca de los quebrantados de corazón y salva a los abatidos de espíritu. (Salmo 34:18 NVI) Incluso cuando nuestra fe se tambalea, Jesús intercede por nosotros. Jesús, el Hijo de Dios, después de Su muerte, resurrección y ascensión, estaba sentado a la diestra del Padre en las alturas. Cuando sufrimos pruebas y tentaciones, Dios Hijo intercede por nosotros ante el Padre. Por eso también puede salvar por completo a los que por medio de él se acercan a Dios, ya que vive siempre para interceder por ellos.(Hebreos 7:25 NVI) Además, debido a que Jesús ora por nosotros, podemos presentar nuestras oraciones con confianza ante el trono de Dios. Hebreos 4:16 dice: Acerquémonos, pues, con confianza al trono de la gracia, para que alcancemos misericordia y hallemos gracia para el oportuno socorro. (ESV) Pero, ¿cómo pueden consolarnos las oraciones no escuchadas de Jesús en nuestro momento de necesidad cuando no sabemos cómo orar? ¿Cómo puede Él ayudar cuando no está aquí en la carne para decirnos qué orar? Jesús prometió cuando dejó esta tierra para reinar en el Cielo, que nos enviaría algo aún mejor que el Hijo en la carne: el Espíritu en nosotros. Y yo le pediré al Padre, y os dará otro Consolador, para que esté con vosotros para siempre. (Juan 14:16 NVI) Mientras Cristo mismo ora por nosotros y su intercesión permite que nuestras oraciones lleguen a Dios, el Espíritu Santo también nos ayuda en nuestras oraciones. Romanos 8:26 dice: Así mismo el Espíritu nos ayuda en nuestra debilidad. Porque no sabemos qué pedir como conviene, pero el Espíritu mismo intercede por nosotros con gemidos indecibles. (ESV) Cuando no tenía las palabras para orar, y mi corazón estaba cargado y triste, el Espíritu Santo intercedió por mí. Dios no está buscando una ejecución de oración perfecta, pero busca una confianza humilde en el Espíritu Santo cuando presentamos nuestras peticiones ante Él. El Espíritu Santo nos ayuda a saber qué orar y Él mismo ora por nosotros. Y el que escudriña los corazones sabe cuál es la intención del Espíritu, porque el Espíritu intercede por los santos conforme a la voluntad de Dios. (Romanos 8:27 NVI)
Cuando nuestras oraciones se ven frustadas por nuestro entendimiento limitado y emociones volubles, Él está orando por nosotros. Él lleva las ansiedades de nuestra mente y los problemas de nuestro corazón al Padre por nosotros. Tenemos la libertad de traer cada cuidado y preocupación, cada necesidad y deseo, ante Dios Padre. Humildemente, podemos confiar en que el Espíritu Santo se comunica por nosotros mejor de lo que nosotros pudiéramos hacer. Mientras reflexionaba sobre mi desgarradora llamada telefónica y escuchaba Scars in Heaven, el Espíritu Santo me ministró, trayendo paz en medio de mis lágrimas. Todavía no tenía las palabras para expresar mi dolor, pero confiaba en que el mismo Jesús que me salvó a través de Su muerte ahora me sostenía en Su vida. Y puedo acercarme a Dios con plena seguridad de fe porque Jesús es fiel. (Hebreos 10:22-23) Incluso cuando no puedo entender lo que está pasando en mi corazón y mente, el Espíritu Santo habla a mi favor, pidiendo lo que realmente necesito, de acuerdo con la voluntad de Dios.
Incluso cuando no puedo entender lo que está pasando en mi corazón y mente, el Espíritu Santo habla a mi favor, pidiendo lo que realmente necesito, de acuerdo con la voluntad de Dios La próxima vez que no sepas qué orar, lee una de las oraciones que Cristo tiene para ti, tal vez Su oración sacerdotal en Juan 17, que es un registro de la oración de Cristo no solo por Sus discípulos en ese entonces sino también por Su Iglesia hoy. Cuando te quedes sin palabras, recuerda que la Palabra de Dios hecha carne ora por ti. Él ora para que crezcas en el conocimiento de Dios, sientas la seguridad de la fe, te unas a otras creyentes, experimentes la plenitud de Su gozo, seas protegida de las artimañas del enemigo y seas santificada de acuerdo con Su Palabra. Es reconfortante saber que el Espíritu Santo está siempre intercediendo por nosotros * Songwriters: John Mark Hall / Matthew Joseph West. Scars in Heaven lyrics © Anthem Entertainment Lp, Essential Music Publishing. Healer CD Track 2.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere
heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and
having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” HEBREWS 10:22-23, NIV
LEAVING A GODLY LEGACY A Legacy of Imperfection B Y K AT H L E E N B A R R E T T
Welcome School Days! It’s that time of year for packing lunches with love and care, special notes, and a chocolate kiss. But it’s the imperfect you, the light of their life, they will surely miss. May God’s blessings surround your families, embarking on another school year. Count the hugs you will get, not the mistakes you will make this year. And mighty warriors without family ties, may God strengthen your journey despite imperfection, dispelling enemy lies.
he Lord loves imperfect people. Imagine that! Happy me, for I am one of those. Yes, I belong to a vast family of unique, quirky, and flawed children. What did you say? Are you not imperfect? Let’s talk!
This month’s column is not a walk down biblical memory lane recounting all the woefully flawed characters of the Bible, changing colors because they knew God or had an encounter with Him. It is not even about sinners saved by grace, like the Apostle Paul who persecuted the faithful only to find he could still be loved and used by God. This article is about how your family and dearest friends see you as you are and how they will remember you when you “fly” away. Leaving a legacy of imperfection is not a sin. God sees us as we are, should not our family? And if not a biological family, a chosen family, our co-workers, business associates, and church family?
Leaving a legacy of imperfection is not a sin. God sees us as we are, should not our family?
In Mark 10:18 (NIV), Jesus asks a young ruler desiring His favor, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” The ruler recited all the commandments he had kept since he was a boy, but he failed to impress the rabbi. When it comes to the characteristics of God, goodness equates to perfection. The young ruler walked away, stunned. Perhaps because he knew he would never measure up. When we shine in our own eyes because of rules we have kept, or if we constantly project a squeaky-clean, all-perfect, all-knowing aura, it sets others up for disappointment. Using a slang term, your family needs to know “you’re not all that.” They need to know that you will sometimes mess up when you try to do your best. The knowledge of that simple truth may go a long way in opening up healthy conversations, especially with young children and teens. I recently spoke with a busy professional of two children under the age of ten. She said, “I try to impart as much wisdom as possible. I want my 8-year-old to know how to navigate in an uncertain world. But I also tell her that Mommy isn’t perfect. I can only give you my best advice. Sometimes it won’t be right.” Leaving a legacy of imperfection relieves the stress of thinking you have to get everything right or have all the answers. In addition, leaving a legacy of this kind will allow your loved ones to understand that striving for perfection is not what you expected of them.
Leaving a legacy of imperfection relieves the stress of thinking you have to get everything right or have all the answers. And, if you are a Bible basher – watch out! In this area, we are exceedingly imperfect – at least I am. Sharing the principles of the Bible must be done in humility and respect. One person’s method or theory of understanding the Bible could be far from your own. However, at the core of sharing, we must be constant disciples of the Bible – continually learning and growing. Therefore, we can ask the Lord for clarity, then share what we believe to be treasured and true. Yet, we must be ready to admit when we may have missed the mark. Imperfect-you will be esteemed and loved, nonetheless. First Corinthians 13:9 NIV says it best, For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. Come, Perfection, come! Come, Lord Jesus, come! Kathleen Barrett is an indie-published author and blogger on the Treasure Coast of Florida. She has written two books, co-authored one, and has numerous articles in various publications. She serves where and when needed in her church’s senior Legacy Group. Tending a modest garden and preparing Sunday afternoon feasts for her multi-cultural family brings joy. Visit her website, https://kathybarrettwrites.com/, Or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DEJANDO UN LEGADO PIADOSO Un legado de imperfección P O R K AT H L E E N B A R R E T T
¡Bienvenidos Días Escolares! Es esa época del año para empacar almuerzos con amor y cuidado, notas especiales y un beso de chocolate. Pero es el tú imperfecto, la luz de su vida, lo que seguramente extrañarán. Que las bendiciones de Dios rodeen a sus familias, emprendiendo un nuevo ciclo escolar. Cuenta los abrazos que recibirás, no los errores que cometerás este año. Y valientes guerreras sin lazos familiares, que Dios fortalezca su camino a pesar de la imperfección, disipando las mentiras del enemigo.
El Señor ama a las personas imperfectas. ¡Imagina eso! Feliz yo, porque yo soy una de esas. Sí, pertenezco a una gran familia de niños únicos, peculiares y defectuosos. ¿Qué dijiste? ¿No eres imperfecta? ¡Hablemos! La columna de este mes no es un paseo por el camino de la memoria bíblica que relata todos los personajes lamentablemente defectuosos de la Biblia, cambiando de color porque conocían a Dios o tuvieron un encuentro con Él. Ni siquiera se trata de pecadores salvados por la gracia, como el Apóstol Pablo, que persiguió a los fieles sólo para descubrir que aún podía ser amado y usado por Dios. Este artículo trata sobre cómo tu familia y tus amigos más queridos te ven tal como eres y cómo te recordarán cuando “vueles” lejos. Dejar un legado de imperfección no es pecado. Dios nos ve como somos, ¿no debería nuestra familia? ¿Y si no una familia biológica, una familia elegida, nuestros compañeros de trabajo, socios comerciales y familia de la iglesia? En Marcos 10:18 (NVI), Jesús le pregunta a un joven gobernante que desea Su favor: “¿Por qué me llamas bueno? Nadie es bueno sino solo Dios.”
Dejar un legado de imperfección no es pecado. Dios nos ve como somos, ¿no debería nuestra familia? 59
hijo de 8 años sepa navegar en un mundo incierto. Pero también le digo que mami no es perfecta. Solo puedo darte mi mejor consejo. A veces no estará bien”. Dejar un legado de imperfección alivia el estrés de pensar que tienes que hacerlo todo bien o tener todas las respuestas. Además, dejar un legado de este tipo permitirá que tus seres queridos comprendan que la búsqueda de la perfección no es lo que esperabas de ellos. Y, si eres una persona fanatica de la Biblia, ¡cuidado! En esta área, somos sumamente imperfectos, al menos yo lo soy. Compartir los principios de la Biblia debe hacerse con
Dejar un legado de imperfección alivia el estrés de pensar que tienes que hacerlo todo bien o tener todas las respuestas. El gobernante recitó todos los mandamientos que había guardado desde niño, pero no logró impresionar al rabino. Cuando se trata de las características de Dios, la bondad equivale a la perfección. El joven gobernante se alejó, atónito. Tal vez porque sabía que nunca estaría a la altura.
El gobernante recitó todos los mandamientos que había guardado desde niño, pero no logró impresionar al rabino. Cuando brillamos en nuestros propios ojos debido a las reglas que hemos mantenido, o si constantemente proyectamos un aura absolutamente limpia, perfecta y omnisciente, esto hace que los demás se desilusionen. Usando un término de jerga, su familia necesita saber “no eres todo eso”. Necesitan saber que a veces te equivocarás cuando intentes dar lo mejor de ti. El conocimiento de esa simple verdad puede ser de gran ayuda para abrir conversaciones saludables, especialmente con niños pequeños y adolescentes. Recientemente hablé con una profesional muy ocupada con dos niños menores de diez años. Ella dijo: “Trato de impartir tanta sabiduría como sea posible. Quiero que mi
humildad y respeto. El método o la teoría de una persona para entender la Biblia podría estar lejos de la suya. Sin embargo, al compartir, debemos ser discípulas constantes de la Biblia, aprendiendo y creciendo continuamente. Por lo tanto, podemos pedir claridad al Señor y luego compartir lo que creemos que es valioso y verdadero. Sin embargo, debemos estar listas para admitir cuándo es posible que no hayamos fallado. No obstante, la Imperfecta “tu” serás apreciada y amada. 1 Corintios 13:9 NVI lo dice mejor, porque en parte conocemos y en parte profetizamos, pero cuando llega la perfección, lo imperfecto desaparece. ¡Ven, Perfección, ven! ¡Ven, Señor Jesús, ven! Kathleen Barrett es una autora independiente y bloguera en la Costa del Tesoro de Florida. Ha escrito dos libros, es coautora de uno y tiene numerosos artículos en diversas publicaciones. Ella sirve donde y cuando se la necesita en el grupo Legacy de personas mayores de su iglesia. Cuidar un jardín modesto y preparar las fiestas de los domingos por la tarde para su familia multicultural le brinda alegría. Visite su sitio web, https:// kathybarrettwrites.com/, o comuníquese con ella por correo electrónico a email@example.com.
You have encircled me; You have placed Your hand on me. (Psalm 139:5 CSB)
DEAR SISTER, T
here is a constant presence that never forsakes you or leaves you. There is a constant embrace that holds you when you feel like no one else will. There is a constant wind beneath your wings that uplifts you and encircles you when you thought you were what was holding you up. There is a constant in God. The hand and heart of God are your lead. God is not interested in you trying to show yourself mighty, He is interested in you knowing that He is leading, guiding, and protecting you. He is interested in you knowing how much He loves you and adores you. God does not see you the way you do. You do not see what God sees, for you see what is visible, but God sees your heart. A heart that He created. A heart that He desires to be a part of in your becoming the woman that He has created you to be. Sister, God has His hand upon your life and He is ordering your footsteps towards a greater destiny beyond what you can see, touch, or even grip. Don’t lose your hold. Don’t let go because your focus is off. Don’t move from the embrace of God, but instead, move in the flow of God. He is encircling you, embracing you, and encasing you in His love, His will, and His purpose.
D R . J I A C O N WAY
KINGDOM PROMISE: ABUNDANCE, HOPE, AND A FUTURE The Power of Choice B Y K E L LY W I L L I A M S H A L E Everyone on this planet makes choices. The decisions we make each day can range from literally life-changing to what type of bread we should buy. Unfortunately, I spent most of my younger life not realizing the concept of choice. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. As a people-pleasing person, the only option I felt like I had growing up was to do and be what other people expected of me. This likely came from the fact that I was the oldest of four children, all born by the time my mom was 25! As you can imagine, life was busy. The chaos caused me to crave peace, and I often felt it was my responsibility to help my mom navigate that season of life. I was her little helper. I was also the bossy big sister who was expected to be the example for my three little brothers, often babysitting and keeping an eye on them when we went outside to play. My dad was a Marine, drafted to serve in Vietnam at age 19. When he came home with his mind filled with images I can’t even begin to fathom, he also had to contend with a crowded house full of responsibilities. So, he drank to escape the pressures and those images, causing my siblings and me to grow up in an environment of uncertainty. Looking back, I’m confident my parents never entertained the thought of conscious choice in their young lives. They were too busy just trying to survive - juggling a large family, responsibilities, and their own relationship.
But the Bible tells us to exercise awareness as we go through life. The sensible man’s wisdom is to consider his way. (Proverb 4:8 HCSB) We should always consider the outcomes of our decisions - cause and effect. And we can trust God to give us wisdom for every situation - if we ask for it. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5 NIV) Many of us coast through life, living moment to moment. This can stem from necessity, as it did for my parents; from ignorance, as did for me; or simply from ease. It’s tempting to do what feels good in the moment without looking ahead. We take the easier route because, well, it’s easy. Or we choose the fastest way, which appeals to us because we’re impatient. But not being aware of possible outcomes and not asking God for His wisdom can cause us to suffer unnecessary consequences.
Many of us coast through life, living moment to moment. This can stem from necessity, as it did for my parents; from ignorance, as did for me; or simply from ease.
The hard lessons have led me to victory in Jesus. His victory is available to you, too. God offers His children His Kingdom Promise – that when we choose Him and choose His way, He will always respond with Abundance, a Hope, and a Future for us. Kelly Williams Hale is a best-selling author, speaker, and mentor. As a confidence and clarity coach, she teaches Christian women how to release the shame and guilt of past mistakes and embrace the gift of God’s grace. Using proven strategies and her unique gift of encouragement, Kelly equips her clients to become confident and courageous. She is passionate about helping women discover their purpose and become who God created them to be. 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.
Over the years, I was filled with so much self-doubt when faced with having to make any type of decision. Because of my history of making poor choices, I was walking through life in fear, forgetting to invite Jesus into the decisionmaking process. The enemy loves to remind us of our mistakes. He wants to keep us in bondage to the lie that we can’t trust ourselves. But as believers, we need to be constantly aware that the Holy Spirit lives in us and that we can actively seek his counsel. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. (Romans 8:11 NLT) We should also remember to seek God first. The Bible says, Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. (Luke 12:31 NLT)
The hard lessons have led me to victory in Jesus. His victory is available to you, too. 63
FOLLOWING THE SON No Excuse PHOTO AND WRITING BY MICHELE HUGHES
ave you ever wondered, God, where are you? Maybe you’ve called out to Him with no response. Or perhaps you’ve questioned His existence. Is He real? Romans 1:20 (NIV) says, For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. One afternoon, I was walking in our neighborhood in Florida. Across the pond was a HUGE sunset. I had never seen anything like it before. So bright and bold, and clearly visible. Only God can create something like this. He spoke it into existence. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 NIV) Look around. The evidence is everywhere. We see it in creation. We see it in nature. A beautiful waterfall. Fresh blooms of flowers. A newborn baby. Crashing waves of an ocean, a forest of trees, rocky mountain ranges, animals, stars, sun, and moon. There had to be a Creator. And He created you and me in His image. If we are honest, I think we would see God like this sunset. Big, bold, and bright, in your face. It’s just some people choose to look the other way. John 8:12 (NIV) says, When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
This gives me hope. I have the light of life. He is not invisible. He is everywhere. His spirit lives in me. And if you follow Him, you too have the light of life. His promises are true. If you do not follow Him, ask yourself, why not? Whatever the excuses for putting it off until tomorrow, what are you waiting on? Singing, dancing, and the joy of the Lord are in the light. There is no excuse. Jesus says, “Come, follow me” thirteen times in the Gospels. If you haven’t yet, let this be the year you accept His invitation. You won’t be disappointed. This life journey we are on is better with the One who created everything and knows everything. We were created for a purpose on purpose. If you want to know how to walk in the light, please reach out to us at VOT or contact me directly at Michele@GoLifeSavers.com Michele Hughes, a #1 best-selling author, resides with her husband in Jupiter, Florida, where they own and operate GoLifeSavers.com. Michele holds a master’s degree in education and has been teaching CPR classes since 2011 as the lead instructor in their business. She also serves on the Leadership Development team in Women World Leaders. Michele loves the Son/sun, family, paddle boarding, travel, and encouraging others.
A PURPOSED CREATION Worship is Genuine BY KERRI BRIDGES
rends. They are something we are all affected by at some point in our lives. In our desire to be accepted, we may hold to the latest fashion trend, change our vernacular to include the latest slang, or even compromise our beliefs to adhere to what the world tells us are acceptable political or social standards. We are easily influenced whether for the good or for the bad. Something I’ve seen increasingly in the past decade or so is the trendiness of worship. Worship artists have become celebrities. Worship songs vie for placement on the Billboard charts. Even fashion trends are associated with the world of worship artists and bands. While none of this is inherently bad, caution needs to be heeded. I’ve been to the gamut of worship settings, from large arenas to intimate coffeehouses and everything in between. In every one, I can look around and see people raising their hands and voices, dancing to the sounds, closing their eyes, falling to their knees, and many other forms of worship expression. It’s cool to worship God! It really is! But the question is, where is our heart? Are we going through the motions to fit in with the crowd? Are we trying to give others an impression that doesn’t necessarily fit what our life looks like? Are we honoring God with our lips while our heart is far from Him? (Matthew 15:8) True worship incites change. A change in our hearts, a change in our actions, a change in our attitude. We are changed in the presence of a Holy God. He is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23-24) He is looking for genuine worshippers. Can you imagine the change we each can affect around us if Godly lives were the fashion? Now that is a trend I could be influenced by. God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart. Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me… Lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting ways— the path that brings me back to You. (Psalm 139:23, 24 TPT)
THROUGH A MOTHER’S EYES Searching B Y D I A N E C H E V E L D AY O F F
s a mother of three adult daughters, I can say from experience that parenting is a journey with many different challenges. But as our children grow through their own journey, we as parents have the privilege of witnessing the stages of that growth, including feeling exuberant joy when they use their voices to speak out into a dark world. One of our daughters has recently moved to Hawaii, and her life is quite an adventure. As her mom, it can be unsettling to see the risk involved in some of her activities. Her extreme hikes seem tame compared with the times she free dives with sharks and whales or ventures to the edge of a cliff and then repels down hundreds of feet. These intense adventures are seemingly never-ending. And yet, seeing her resulting photography and hearing the excitement in her voice as she describes her experiences allows me to see life through a different lens. I recognize this is the time for her to enjoy and explore where she is, and it is also the time for me to trust God, knowing He will protect her and speak to her. That’s no easy feat, no matter what age your children are. As parents, we are to be diligent in our prayers for the protection of our children. A well-known scripture is Proverbs 22:6: Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (NIV) This is a promise that we can claim throughout our children’s lives. Despite my own misgivings regarding possible danger, it is evident that my daughter sees God through her adventures. For example, one of her passions is finding waterfalls. However, the waterfall she seeks is often not easy to get to or close to a road. Instead, the trek requires dedication, endurance through obstacles, and preparation for the search. But after all, nothing truly good comes easy, which applies to all aspects of life.
Recently, after a difficult waterfall search, she shared, “You know if you stay on the riverbed, you will sooner or later get there. But what you don’t consider is that there are many riverbeds that can stray you off the main one.” Searching for a waterfall or the right path on a hike can be rewarding, but it’s not always easy. Along the way, many different paths can intertwine, making you question your choices. And just like hiking, navigating the path of life can be easy or challenging - with unexpected twists and turns. My daughter continued to share about her waterfallseeking experience: “The whole time you are looking for the waterfall, you may be holding your breath, turning each river bend (and) hoping to catch a glimpse of the falling water. But, when you start to hear the roar of the crashing water, your heart starts to beat faster. Then, it’s the moment you turn that last bend and begin to see the never-ending waterfall in all its glory. I can’t get over how much beauty God is capable of creating. Everywhere I turn, I am in awe.”
so are you. God calls us to share His glory with others. He has crafted a glorious path full of His wonder for each of us. Let’s pray to keep our eyes open to His glory through the twists and turns, the obstacles, and the rough paths. And let’s commit to singing His praise to all who He puts on our path. 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) In addition to writing for WWL, Diane also loves serving on the Leadership and Finance teams. She can be reached at Diane@ExecutiveDiamond.com or Diane@WomenWorldLeaders.com
Can we all agree that we smile when our children have these beautiful life experiences? But when they recognize God’s glory in His creation all around them, we beam! We don’t have to live vicariously through our children, though. Because whether in nature or simple ways, God continuously demonstrates His direction and favor every day in every life; we only need to slow down and pay attention. We can beam as we see our children recognize God’s glory AND as our hearts beat faster each time God shows up to us, with the roaring sounds of heaven, displaying His glory.
Because whether in nature or simple ways, God continuously demonstrates His direction and favor every day in every life; we only need to slow down and pay attention. My daughter’s adventures are indeed extreme. And although my adventures are far different, we have something in common. You see, as she shares about her adventures, whether that be on social media or with others on her journey, she also shares her awe of God. And I am called to do the same. And
Photos taken of and by Jamie Cheveldayoff, Diane’s daughter
PRAYERS FOR THE SONS OF THE KING Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61:7 NIV)
ons of the Highest God, there is a Greater that God is calling you toward. You have been made heir to greatness, power, and authority. God is taking the former things that attempted to distract and deter you and turning them into victory and success. Sons, you will no longer linger in the trail of shame, doubt, unbelief, disbelief, failure, or disgrace because God is turning your Latter. Our heavenly Father is a mindful father who gives us much attention and examines every part of our being. Our heavenly Father is a consistent father who is always attentive to the needs and desires of His children. You ought to rejoice in the Lord, for He has made every good and perfect provision for you, so that you will receive the double portion of your inheritance. You are clothed in garments of righteousness and salvation, liberated and freed unto the favor of the Lord. Sons of the King, because you have been made unto righteousness, forgiven and set apart, you are to rejoice in the inheritance of the Lord and everlasting joy will be yours.
D R . J I A C O N WAY
BESIDE STILL WATERS HIS EYES BY RUSANNE CAROLE His eyes His gaze His love Like no other His eyes Watching, always watching and protecting ~ never far away His eyes weep for His people He stands in the gap to intercede His eyes closed for a time when He hung on the Cross and was laid in a tomb But there was a plan There was an appointed time where His eyes were to open as He laid His life down for mankind His eyes opened! His body rose! His eyes had faced the enemy, and He won! I win when my eyes are upon Him I receive the salvation He came to gift to all of us who accept Him I receive eternal life ~ the most precious gift ever bestowed
I receive peace when I gaze into His eyes I receive love when I gaze into His eyes I receive all the things needed to endure, persevere, and run the race He has set forth for me I turn my gaze completely to His precious, beautiful, calming eyes, and I am complete He sees me now and forevermore And on that day when our eyes finally meet And my gaze is face to face I will be home in the eyes and the arms of my first and forever LOVE Rusanne Carole is a published author, podcaster, speaker, advocate, and teacher for young people, including those with additional needs. She was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, representing her state in the 1984 Miss USA pageant. Her home has been in Australia since 1999. “Rusty,” as the Aussies like to call her, loves to study, write, walk on the beach, and hang out with her four boys. She is a full-time carer for her youngest son. Life is full-on! Rusanne can be contacted at australia@ womenworldleaders.com
LIVING A HOLYSTIC LIFE
Still and Well BY MELISSA KESSLER, INH C, M A
hat thoughts come to mind when the topic of wellness comes up? You may think that wellness refers to eating a healthy diet and exercising, going to the doctor, or even taking the right vitamins and supplements. Sure, each of these contributes to wellness, but many people believe that following this protocol ensures good health, guaranteeing they will never get sick or experience disease. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly the case, although sometimes I wish I could say it was just that easy. Here’s the thing, God did not create us to live in chaos or turmoil. If you are running around doing all the things I mentioned above but neglect to sit still and take a break, you may run into a little hiccup. I have a line that I say and fully believe: “You cannot be well if you don’t take time to be still.” Hear me out and please don’t turn this page and think it’s not speaking to you. If you are a mom, wife, homemaker, career woman, or serve in ministry or elsewhere, this is for you. I speak on this topic from personal experience and education. I fall into each of the categories I’ve just listed, and I know that many responsibilities come with each of them. I used to fulfill all these roles and never take a rest. Honestly, I’m not sure if I ever got any sleep for a few years of my life. Instead, my focus was on getting everything done. As a health coach, I helped other women be well. Then, of course, I cared for my children, including getting them where they needed to be. I stood by my husband’s side as a wife. Taking care of our home meant having food on the table and cleaning up. And serving in church was always on my plate. Who am I kidding? There was no time for rest.
Eventually, there came a time when my body told me I couldn’t keep up the pace. I didn’t want to listen at first, but ultimately, I had no choice. During that time of healing and slowing down, which came at God’s request, I learned that we cannot be well without finding time to be still. It took many tiresome days to realize that was what God was teaching me. Hopefully, this is all starting to make sense to you. Our bodies need rest to be able to function and stay healthy. I’m not talking about rest as in Netflix and chill, going to the movies, or getting your nails done. Sorry, I know you may have been excited about that, but this rest is much better than those things. What I am talking about is being still - in God’s presence. When you take some time to sit in a quiet space with the Lord, cast all your anxieties on Him (1 Peter 5:7), and hear all that He has for you, something happens that is almost unexplainable. God provides a peace that surpasses all understanding. (Philippians 4:7) And we all need more of that - a lot more of that. We live in a time where we are each expected, not necessarily by anyone except ourselves, to do everything. Many of us hold onto a belief that if we stop and take care of ourselves, we will not be good enough, worthy of love, or fulfill our duties as Christians. But this couldn’t be more wrong. We can’t do anything to make God love us any more than He already does. In fact, God expects us to rest and be still because He knows that is what we need both physically and spiritually, and He LOVES spending time with us! Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10 ESV) Stop striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10 NASB)
We can’t do anything to make God love us any more than He already does. In fact, God expects us to rest and be still because He knows that is what we need both physically and spiritually, and He LOVES spending time with us! I got truly well only when I took the time to be still. Stepping away from the busyness of life and sitting with God changed so much: it allowed my body to heal, my mind to quiet down, my hormones to function harmoniously, and God’s peace to enter my life. You can experience this, too. Could you take just ten minutes of your day to sit still in His presence? Whether or not you have a relationship with the Lord, try it and see what happens. I know you will be amazed at the outcome of sitting in silence and allowing the Holy Spirit to fill the room. Open up a space for stress to roll off your shoulders and receive true wellness. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (3 John 1:2 NIV) Melissa is a wife and mom of tween and teen boys who are a huge inspiration in her life. She is a bestselling author and Hormone Health Coach who helps women who are burned out infuse balance into their lives and hormones and experience a peace that surpasses all understanding. (Phil 4:7) She has been practicing holistic health for about ten years, is a truth speaker, and lives according to the Word of God. Learn more from Melissa on all social media platforms @stillwellnessmeditation
FAITH AND FAMILY If I Could Sing BY DONNA WHARTENBY
ave you ever uttered to yourself or others, “If I could sing..”?
What would you sing? To whom would you sing? Hearing someone sing can bring excitement and joy. It can compel you to join their melodious voice, whether shouting to the rooftops or in a breathy whisper. Your heart and whole being sings! There is such power in music. It’s inviting, engaging, and addictive. Singing can evoke strong emotions such as joyfulness or sadness, which at times can bring tears. You have been there, haven’t you? Singing can tell a story. In Genesis 15, Moses and the Israelites sang the “Song of Moses and Miriam” in celebration of God’s victory over Pharoah and his army after they were hurled into the Red Sea. Singing tells the story of love in a ballad, shouts our Hallelujahs, and puts a child to sleep with a hushed lullaby. Singing is a style of worship and praise to Whom we sing and about what we sing. Worship centers our attention, our hearts, our minds, and our whole being on the God of the universe. It does not matter how we sing or whether we can or cannot sing melodiously. What matters is worshiping God with all your heart. Psalm 100:1-3 (NIV) instructs us to Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His. The significance is giving God all the praise. Have you considered the reasons we sing? Psalm 96 tells us to sing to the Lord, praise His name, and declare God’s glory. Jehovah God is worthy of our praise. He is El Shaddai, God Almighty, “above all else.” Our songs of worship and praise honor El Elyon, the Most High God. We bow down to Him in reverence and love. Have you investigated which of God’s creatures sing? In the early morning, birds sing among the branches, announcing a new day. Whales, known for their vocal abilities, like birds
and humans, sing for the sheer joy of it. Researchers have discovered whales sing hit songs, which are heard around the world. I am sure the cacophony of singing in the universe elates our Creator. The book of Psalms encourages us to sing, shout to the Lord, and come before Him with joyful songs. God rejoices with singing (Zephaniah 3:17), or He would not have given us the ability to sing. Even the mute can sing with their hands. Singing brings overflowing joy to our heavenly Father’s heart when He hears His creatures sing in tribute to Him. Worshipping God through song overflows our hearts with joy, as well. Psalm 108:1 states My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being. Colossians 3:16 (NIV) tells us to sing songs with thankfulness in our hearts. El Roi, the God who sees and knows you, is glorified when we sing for Him. Songs such as “How Great is Our God,” “Oh, How He Loves You and Me,” “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” and “Worthy of Every Song” remind us He is deserving of our praise. Singing promotes joy and love. It brings shouts of gladness, tears of sadness, and lullabies for sleepy babies. Creatures sing to call out or tell a story. Singing presents loving worship and praise to the One who deserves all the glory. Are you ready? Now is the time to shout to universe, “I will sing!”
Donna grew up in a Christian home and attended weekly church with her family. She and her husband, Keith, have been married for 38 years and together have a son. Donna loves singing, traveling, and spending vacations and holidays with her three grandchildren. She’s 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.
POWER POINTS: GOD AT WORK THROUGH WOMEN LEADERS YESTERDAY AND TODAY
Katherine Schütz Zell BY LEECY BARNETT “By that faith I also exhort you with friendly request and exhortation, as your fellow sister in Christ Jesus, that you not let the invincible word of God go out of your heart, but always meditate on that word that you have had with you for so long and heard with all earnestness and faithfulness.” --- Katherine Schütz Zell1 These words were written to encourage women whose husbands had been forced to flee their homes. True believers were being persecuted because of their conviction that acceptance by God is based solely on faith in God’s grace as taught in His Word. Katherine Schütz Zell knew from personal experience that the Word of God is the only solid foundation on which to build your life. Katherine was born in 1498 in Strasbourg which is now in France, but at that time was an independent German-speaking city. Katherine was fortunate in two ways. First, her family thought it was important that girls be educated, so she learned to read. Second, the printing press had been invented a generation earlier, so she had access to reading materials. “By her own account, the young Katharina Schütz was actively devout and spiritually anxious; she attended the sacraments, did good works, led other women in religious activities, and even read the Bible in German (which the clergy did not encourage!), but she could find no assurance of her salvation.”2 But then a new priest, Matthew Zell, came to town teaching the Gospel message. Katherine began to see that all her religious piety and good deeds would not earn her a way to heaven. She trusted in Christ’s work on her behalf and understood, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV) Pastor Zell was not only Katherine’s teacher, but in 1523 he became her husband, as well. The Zell’s marriage was not based on a romantic infatuation but on the conviction that ministers should be free to marry. The Catholic Church had forbidden married priests, leading to much hypocrisy as many of the clergy failed to keep their vows of celibacy. Reformation leaders also thought pastors’ families should be examples to their congregations. The Zell’s union was an unusual partnership in life and ministry: “Zell regarded Schütz as a partner in faith from the beginning and increasingly accepted her cooperation
was teaching her. Near the end of her life, she “sought out some of my old booklets that I wrote years ago for myself, in which I worked through the whole Psalter with lament, prayer, and thanks”4 and published one of them. This became The Misere Psalm Meditated, Prayed, and Paraphrased with King David by Katharina Zell. Reflecting on Psalm 51:14, she said, “Wash me so I will be pure and white from my sins before You, and then You will heed my prayer and remember Your word, in which You have permitted and instructed me to hope.”5 As followers of Christ, we are often tempted to serve others in our own strength. But that quickly leads to burnout. May we, like Katherine, minister out of a heart encouraged by ‘the invincible Word of God.’ May I never forget Your words, for they are my only hope. (Psalm 119:43 TLB) ¹ Katharina Schütz Zell. (2006). Letter to the suffering women of the community of Kentzingen. In E. A. Mckee (ed.) Church Mother: The Writings of a Protestant Reformer in Sixteenth Century Germany. University of Chicago Press, p.50. (Original work published 1524). 2 Mckee, E. (2019). She would follow only Christ. Christian History, 131, para. 1. https://christianhistoryinstitute.org/magazine/article/zell-would-follow-only-christ
in his ministry as well; he called her ‘wedded companion’, ‘mother of the afflicted,’ and ‘assistant.’”3 With Matthew’s encouragement, Katherine became the most published woman author of her day. Katherine’s deep personal devotion to God and His Word sustained her extensive ministry to refugees, prisoners, parishioners, and anyone who was suffering. For years she had pored over Scripture keeping journals of all that God
3 Ibid., para. 12. 4 Katharina Schütz Zell. (2006). The Misere Psalm Meditated, Prayed, and Paraphrased with King David by Katharina Zell. In E. A. Mckee (ed.) Church Mother: The Writings of a Protestant Reformer in Sixteenth-Century Germany. University of Chicago Press, p. 133. (Original work published 1558). 5 Ibid., p. 139.
LOVE NOT ES I read many magazines but Voice of Truth is my favorite by far. It contains the Word of God and truth that I can apply to my life each day. I love the consistency of the content inside each article. It's always uplifting and I have many ways I can learn from this publication. Thank you Voice of Truth for your faithfulness. REBECCA MILES - CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE
“For by grace you have been saved through
faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” EPHESIANS 2:8-9 ESV
CHANGE YOUR STORY WITH KIRSTIN LEIGH Self-Indulgence—the Imposter of Self-Love BY KIRSTIN LEIGH All things are permitted, but not all things are profitable. All things are permitted, but not all things build people up. (1 Corinthians 10:23 NASB) “Calgon, take me away!” Do you remember the famous Calgon commercials? The woman relaxing in a bathtub of overflowing bubbles, convincing us that Calgon would take away all of our troubles? What about the splashy magazine ads that we see every day sporting models dressed in exquisite clothes carrying shopping bags with “You Deserve It” written in swirling letters across the top? Or the happy people boozing it up on billboards saying things like, “The Time is Now, Have Fun, Enjoy Life!” Do you know people who indulge in a massive ice cream sundae topped with whipped cream and every topping imaginable after being on a diet for a week? Have you ever been this person? I have! I’ve overindulged in everything I mentioned more than once, often in the name of self-love. And at times, it was fun—for the moment! But adding to the debt I was trying to eliminate, waking up with a headache and regrets, and indulging in unhealthy food…well, none of it felt very loving the next day. Don’t get me wrong, bubble baths are great. And who doesn’t love a new outfit? A new outfit for a specific occasion can give us a boost. And sometimes—for some people—drinks and sugar are fine. But the point is, when we overindulge in some of the things we often associate with self-love, they can actually lead us to think less of ourselves. I’m not talking about being perfect or never treating ourselves, but about getting to the root of what it really means to love ourselves. Our culture focuses on the “self” part of self-love and often encourages us to do things that have nothing to do with loving ourselves. It has perverted the term to the extent that, as believers, we often tune out when we hear the expression self-love. Yet the Bible tells us in Mark 12:31 that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. How can we do this if we don’t know how to love ourselves? In 1 Corinthians 3:16 we learn that our body is a temple, that God’s Spirit
Our culture focuses on the “self” part of self-love and often encourages us to do things that have nothing to do with loving ourselves.
dwells in us. Ephesians 5:29 says we are to nourish and cherish our flesh, as Christ does the church! For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 NIV) God loves us more than we can imagine, and self-love is when we make decisions that align with who He created us to be. It’s when we pursue His heart when we’re hurting. It’s going to Him with our questions—before we pick up the phone, turn to our spouse, best friend, counselor, etc. Self-love is about treating yourself with respect—and extending that respect to others. It’s creating a life you don’t need to escape from. It’s being able to walk into any room with your head held high and not feel like a fraud. Self-love is knowing it’s okay to be vulnerable, ask for help, and understand that you are worthy of love. We can’t do any of these things without God. But with God, all things are possible. (See Matthew 19:26) In its truest essence, self-love is about aligning our thoughts, habits, words, and ways with God. It is treating ourselves with the love, forgiveness, and grace He gives us. It’s being healed and whole and walking in the freedom He provides. It’s asking tough questions, such as:
Am I making decisions that honor God? Are bad habits holding me back? Do my relationships build me up or tear me down? Am I pursuing God’s purpose for my life? Have I settled with “okay”? What am I hiding? Why am I hiding it? Is my past affecting my present? Am I living life at my highest potential? If not, why not? And the most important question: What am I going to do about it? Immerse yourself in God’s Word. Read books that inspire you, listen to music that moves you in the right direction, pray, and take classes or workshops that will help you break free from strongholds. Indulge in God’s love for you. This kind of self-love will Change Your Story. After running away from her dreams and battling addictions for over a decade, Kirstin Leigh is now a bestselling 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,” visit www.thechangeyourstoryworkshop.com
How God Called Me Into Ministry BY TINA KADOLPH In the 8th Edition of Voice of Truth, I shared how God sent my daughters and me on our first mission trip to Belize. That was indeed a God story which you can read at womenworldleaders.com! At the end of that article, I promised a follow-up. Well, here it is. Grab your coffee!
he trip to Belize was life-changing for both my daughters and me. We served at an orphanage and in its surrounding community. So many God moments happened on this trip that I knew God was leading me to start a mission organization. I felt the call so strongly. One day, the missionaries sent a group of fifteen of us into a village for a fun cultural experience. They told us to go down the dirt road, turn left, and knock on the door of the blue house. The residents would welcome us in and make us fresh tortillas.
So, we did as we were told: walked down the dirt road, turned left, and walked down another dirt road until we saw the blue house. The lady who lived there did not speak English, and we did not speak Myan Indian. But when she opened the door, she was delighted to see us. She welcomed us in, just like the missionaries told us she would. Then she brought us into her kitchen and made us tortillas on an open fire. That is how they cook all their meals in this village. First, she showed us how she grinds the corn and turns it into corn flour. It took hours, but watching her was so interesting and entertaining. She even let each of us have a turn grinding the corn and then making the tortilla with our hands. She made it look so easy, but it was so hard. My tortilla looked deformed no matter how hard I tried. It was hilarious. But it was so much fun. Cooking from scratch was not an easy task. It was sweltering hot in that little room, and as our hostess cooked over the fire, she sweated profusely. Nevertheless, she worked so hard so we could taste the tortillas and enjoy the experience. Nearby, a baby sweetly slept in a hammock. It was evident that, for our hostess, having her baby close by was important. I couldn’t help but think about her doing this every day for her family, which opened my eyes to how easy we have it in the United States. We take so many things for granted - even things like an oven. We laughed with her, and we all enjoyed each other’s company even though we didn’t understand each other’s language. I watched with amazement as this dear woman pushed the wood further in the hole to make the fire hotter and pulled the wood out when it became too hot. Finally, we were able to eat the delicious handmade tortillas. They were amazing - hot off the fire. I will never forget the work that went into making these for us. She happily fed our large group of fifteen with such joy despite having nothing but a dirt-floor house and an open-fire cook stove. I was so thankful the missionaries had set up this meeting. We learned so much from this woman who didn’t speak a word to us but whose kindness spilled out. When it was time to go, we hugged her, thanked her, and went on our way to head back to our home base. As we were walking, the missionary we were staying with walked toward us with a worried look on his face. But we excitedly started telling him about the wonderful tortillas and the lady who worked so hard to make them for us. He couldn’t get a word in as we exclaimed how much we loved the adventure, thanking him for setting up this very thoughtful experience.
Finally, he looked at us and asked, “Where did you go?” We pointed down the road to the blue house. He laughed and said, “You went to the wrong house.” What? There is no way we could have. We had gone the way he told us to go. He explained that he had been worried because the lady we were supposed to meet said we never showed up. We were even more shocked because it was then that we realized we had walked to a complete stranger’s home. However, even without knowing us or being prepared, she welcomed us in and made us food from what was likely a limited supply of resources. We had literally seen Hebrews 13:16 in action. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16 ESV) God spoke to my heart again. He was showing me the generosity of people in other countries, even those with very little. When we are blessed with so much, sometimes we hold on to what we have instead of giving to others, afraid that what we have left won’t be enough. I knew I was being called to let go of my comfortable life and do more mission work. I felt a pull from God like I had never experienced up to this point in my life. I wanted to share with others the hope I had found in Christ.
He was showing me the generosity of people in other countries, even those with very little. When we are blessed with so much, sometimes we hold on to what we have instead of giving to others, afraid that what we have left won’t be enough. One evening, I poured my heart out to the pastor leading our group. I shared with him that this trip was life-changing for me. From it, God was calling me into missions. I told the pastor that this was a miracle as I had never cared about missions before, and, in fact, my husband and I had often skipped church when missionaries came to talk about their ministry. So now, I had the dilemma of trying to entice my husband with mission work, too. He wasn’t on the trip, and I knew he didn’t care about missions. So, how would I make
him want to do it with me? I needed some wise counsel about how to convince my husband. I asked the pastor to tell me the biblical words that I could use on my husband - anything to get him to want to do missions with me. I was very serious about this. Carl had to want to do missions with me. There had to be a good verse I could use to get him to feel the calling like I did. The pastor listened, and then he gave me wisdom-filled counsel. But it was not what I was expecting. He looked at me and said, “First off, you can’t make your husband do anything. You can’t force him into missions. But what you can do is pray for him. Pray that God would open his heart to missions like he has opened yours. If this is really God calling you, He will call your husband also. He will not call one without the other. You are both one.” Oh, wow, he was right. I needed to start praying. So, that’s exactly what I did. The trip was incredible, and I knew I had heard from God and was so excited to share everything with Carl. When we arrived home, the girls went on and on about the trip. And they wanted to donate all their things to those in need. Carl was in shock. He said, “Wow, this really has impacted our girls.” I agreed and then shared how it had impacted my life also. He listened. I didn’t know he was thinking that he wished he had gone with us. God, in that moment, was already changing his heart. I continued to pray that God would show Carl, as He had shown me, that we would do missions together. Not even a year later, our church planned a mens’ adventure mission trip to Honduras. The trip included mountain climbing, boat riding, and spreading the gospel to some unreached areas. Carl listened and told me it sounded so fun, and he thought he wanted to go. The fun was what drew him in. He did not know that God would use this trip to change his life. I told him I would love him to go, although I had no idea what God was planning. I was just excited for him to experience missions. The money came for his trip pretty much overnight. I knew this was God. Carl was experiencing God in a new way, just like I had.
He went on his adventure trip, and although I can’t tell you much about the experience, which is his story to share, I can say that God moved and did miracles. When Carl returned home, he was so excited to share all that had happened. His story was even more powerful than mine. I knew that it would take powerful circumstances to prove to Carl that we were being called into missions, and that’s just what God provided. As Carl shared his stories, he looked at me and said, “I believe God wants us to do missions, just like this, and lead other people on life-changing trips so they can experience God in a whole new way.” I was so blown away. I had never told Carl I felt God wanted us to do missions. At the advice of that pastor, all I had done was pray. And I trusted, just like the pastor said, that if my calling was indeed from God, He would call us both; and it wasn’t from Him, He would make that clear also. God had spoken to both my husband and me, and here we are today. We started a 501C3 called Love Missions Global. Love Missions because of our love for mission work. Love Missions because everything we do is about God’s love for the Nations. Love Missions because we are about showing God’s mission of love to the broken, the lost, and the hopeless.
God had spoken to both my husband and me, and here we are today. We started a 501C3 called “Love Missions Global.” “Love Missions” because of our love for mission work. “Love Missions” because everything we do is about God’s love for the Nations. Together we have led hundreds of trips. We have seen thousands of people accept Christ as their personal savior. We have seen so many miracles and seen so many lives changed. And we have done this together every step of the way. How amazing is our God? We have been obedient for over 20 years and have loved every minute. God has blessed us in ways we never thought possible.
Yes, God knew what He was doing when He sent me to chaperone my daughters on their first trip to Belize. I went for one reason, but God had another reason. And Carl went on his first mission trip for fun and adventure. But God had another reason for that trip, too. I’m so thankful God called us both to do the work He still has us doing together. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV) If you’ve had a dream or have felt a calling, remember the first thing you need to do is pray. Know that God will always confirm His callings, just like He did for us. And don’t give up. Because when God calls you, he WILL make a way for you to accomplish what He has called you to do. Thank you, ladies, for letting me share my God adventures with you. Until next time. Tina Kadolph is the co-founder and president of “Love Missions Global,” a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the global abolishment of modern-day slavery, which has a safe house in South America and a life center called “The Bridge” in Florida. Tina is the co-owner of “Palate Coffee Brewery,” “Palate Roastery,” and “Palate Bubs and Ice Cream” in Sanford, Florida. She has been nominated as Hero of the Year by Spectrum TV and interviewed by CNN as an influencer, encourager, and inspiration.
Stomp out human trafficking
together 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.
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Voice of Truth Stories TOGETHER WE ARE WORLD CHANGERS How are you sharing Voice of Truth? Write us. We want to share your joy of spreading the gospel of Christ throughout the world.
MEET HALEY EGAN FROM MOREHEAD, KENTUCKY
i, my name is Haley Egan. I am from Morehead, Kentucky, but currently reside in Hillsboro, Kentucky. I am a wife, a daughter, and a sister. In addition, I am a teacher, a dog and cat owner, and a chicken farmer. But my favorite title is SAVED. God has so blessed me in my 27 years. I have a wonderful husband, family, and friends. However, I know that nothing in this life has been a coincidence; I have my Lord and Savior to thank. On October 10th, 2004, Jesus touched me and changed my life forever. I’m so grateful to have been washed in the blood and that, when He hung on that cross, Jesus had me (and all of us) in mind. Throughout my walk with Christ, I’ve faced many challenges and obstacles. I often feel like Satan has placed a target on my back, and as I get closer to God, Satan’s aim becomes better. However, with each tactic to try and defeat me, I have found victory in Jesus.
This ministry has changed my life. I feel so blessed to be a part of Women World Leaders, a community of strong and faithful women, and for the opportunity to share my testimony with the whole world. Women World Leaders made it possible for me to have a voice here, and I am grateful. Through this wonderful experience, I know that I am agreeing to take a step closer to God in my walk of faith, and I’m over the moon! Till my last day on earth, I know that God will never be finished with me. I also know that Satan will be on my heels every step of the way, but I’m living proof that there IS victory in Jesus, and I can’t wait to brag about all He’s done for me! God gave me this opportunity to write about my love for Jesus. However, I needed a photo, so my friend, Dakota Marie Photography, took some pictures in honor of my recent graduation. That gave me the opportunity to share this beautiful magazine with her. It amazes me how God continues moving through Voice of Truth, allowing new friendships full of blessings and miracles to blossom throughout our walk of faith.
MEET DEANN ALAINE FROM ORLANDO, FLORIDA winning film festivals for comedy TV series! WHAT?!?!? The show was all the Lord’s idea. It is literally me in my car with a guest star, having fun as we go through a carwash!
“She’s goofy, effervescent, and full of the joy of the Lord.” Those are words that people have used to describe me. (Oh, and “weird.”) Have you heard that phrase, “That one broke the mold!”? Yep, that’s me. I should mention I’m a stand-up comedian, show host of Modwash Moments with DeAnn Alaine on the Creative Motion Network/ROKU TV, and I have been known to occasionally do the dishes in my sink…ok, RARELY. Let’s be real. Dawn may take the grease out of your way, but I’d rather she take all the dishes out of my way and wipe off the countertops! I digress.
Since I had lots of experience as a show host, I was able to be an interviewer at the 2022 International Christian Film and Music Festival! I’m shocked that they trusted a comic with a mic in that environment! I was interviewing people for 24flix.com, and in between interviews, our cameraman, Barry, said, “DeAnn, stay here. I have a powerhouse couple I want you to interview. I’ll be right back.” He brought Ken & Kimberly Hobbs. What a DUO! I experienced the presence of the Lord even before the interview. I said to Kimberly, “Let’s pray!” Right after the prayer, we went live, and she spoke of the power of God at work in the lives of women through Women World Leaders and showed me her issue of Voice of Truth. She was also sharing about the Renew conference that was coming up at the University, inviting women to this incredible, free event!
I was 40-something when I was in a car accident on my way home from work. Days before the car accident, the Lord said to me, “I want you to write and build relationships.” I assumed, incorrectly, that He meant for me to write praise and worship music. Nope. It wasn’t until I was sitting in a beautiful chapel in January of 2020, at dusk, at Our Lady’s church retreat, that the Lord hit me over the head with love and said, “Hey Silly, I want you to write comedy!” He then started showing me Bible verses that I had never seen as hilarious till that night! Jesus really is the King of comedy! He started giving me comedy in that chapel. Sorry, I forgot to mention that this was a SILENT retreat. So naturally, I ran to my room and started performing comedy for my roommate! I also had a list of girls who were talking in their rooms, so I began knocking on their doors (with my roomie Sharon) to see who was still awake. One girl opened her door, and I started performing comedy in her room!
After interviewing Kimberly and her stellar hubby, I knew the Lord wanted me to offer a comedic moment for the ladies at Renew. She began talking about the cost and how the Lord had been showing favor for that event to occur. I told her I’d bring laughs for free. I call this a passion project…but I do receive DONATIONS! Two or three days after sharing that with Kimberly and Ken, the Lord provided me with a talent agent. A sitcom that I was writing wanted to be seen by network executives, and that silly, little carwash comedy show was getting picked up by a new streaming service for monetization. I told Kimberly that I believed the Lord would make a financial way for what He has called me to do, but that would not include charging tickets for comedy. Look at what the Lord had done!
The next morning there were some reports of excessive laughter being heard...yeah. Moving on! Sometime later, Modwash Moments with DeAnn Alaine was nominated and
Since then, the Lord has opened tremendous doors in television, comedy clubs, movies, and the like - to share the joy of the Lord where His light is hard to see. In fact,
I took my copy of Voice of Truth to an audition, and the director started commenting on the cover artwork! He practically snatched it out of my hand and began flipping through the pages! I told him about Women World Leaders as a Christian ministry and how the magazine is a free publication! VOT really does tell the TRUTH of who Jesus is, and in my line of work, I need all the help I can get! I also want to mention how easy it is to share the magazine with friends since scanning the QR code on the back of each issue opens up the Voice of Truth digital copy!!! We have no excuse to keep this to ourselves! Lastly, here’s an
unsolicited tip. VOT is the perfect size and weight to roll up and whack your family pet or feisty neighbor if need be. You’re welcome. You can check me out at www.deannalaine.com, and if you don’t have Roku TV to see the carwash comedy show, that’s okay! It can also be seen on the FB page, Modwash Moments with DeAnn Alaine. Joy in Jesus, DeAnn Alaine
MEET LAURA SHOEMAKER FROM JUPITER, FLORIDA
was on vacation in Chattanooga, Tennessee, staying on top of Lookout Mountain with my amazing husband, Todd. Each morning we would have breakfast on the patio, in nature, listening to the birds sing their morning songs. It was during breakfast that I read my first Voice of Truth magazine. The brilliant colors of the beautiful artwork first caught my eye and instantly drew me in. As I read the stories by beautiful women of God, I found encouragement. My faith began to grow, wanting to draw closer to our Savior. It felt like the rivers of living waters flowing in my soul. I prayed about being part of this ministry, this fabulous group of Godly women. I wanted to share my story and share my voice there.
To give you a bit of history about me, it has been just over two years that I have been living in a remarkable miracle. For 18 years, my husband has been chronically and then terminally ill. I am his best friend, wife, caregiver, and breadwinner. During this excruciating journey, my mother got cancer and died at age 62. She was the most incredible shining light for Jesus. And my husband was wasting away, year after year, before my very eyes. He weighed just 112 pounds and had multiple diagnoses. But after the doctors suggested we call in Hospice, we decided instead to live our lives, trust God, and take adventures. We did make funeral arrangements, and then we were invited to a tent meeting, a Night of Prayer and Healing, with Dr. Chauncey Crandall. At the altar of that tent, Christ’s presence dwelled, and Todd received miraculous healing. His body was healed and restored. He was even able to run marathons again. We have walked in joy and shared God’s love and healing power with others ever since. Recently, my husband and I attended the International Christian Film Festival in Orlando as our documentary, Dead Man Running; The Todd Shoemaker Story, was nominated for an award. A few days into the festival, I was blessed beyond measure to meet Kimberly Hobbs. I can’t fully describe this God-connection. Her genuine warmth and love of Christ instantly drew me in. I knew God brought our paths together, and I finally knew that I definitely wanted to get involved with this inspiring ministry. I experienced two significant moments during that festival: my husband won first place for Best Documentary, and I met Kimberly Hobbs. I encourage all women to share Voice of Truth, which proclaims Christ’s love, empowerment, and joy. This ministry can touch women who might be struggling with their faith, are wounded and in need of healing, or need to find Christ as their Savior. I know my future is forever changed, and it started with reading Voice of Truth. 85
MEET AMANDA JACKMAN FROM IMLAY CITY, MICHIGAN
n September 5, 2021, we experienced a trial we could have never prepared for. At a big family gathering, my 2-year-old son snuck over the side of the pool, and he drowned. I was inside the house talking with my sister-in-law, and God spoke to me in a commanding voice, Find Walter. I walked outside immediately, and Walter was at the bottom of the pool. My husband dove in, and my other sister and brother-in-law started CPR. I’m also CPR certified, but it’s just different when it’s your own child. My immediate response was to scream. I screamed until my husband told me to go and walk.
So I walked up the driveway and prayed boldly. “God, You brought him into this world, and it is not time for You to take him home. Bring him back to me, and I will shout out our testimony and Your goodness and kindness to our family. Walter was in the waters, and in Your Word, it says when we pass through the waters, You will be with us. I was faithful when you told me to go. Reward that faithfulness with Your mercy. He is fully restored. By the stripes, Jesus, he is healed.” Walter was resuscitated before the ambulance arrived. We immediately went to the hospital, where he was intubated and then sent to another hospital with a pediatric intensive care unit. He was in the hospital for two weeks. I had stopped at home to grab fresh clothes when I noticed the Sept/Oct 2021 issue of Voice of Truth on my counter. So I packed it and headed back to the hospital. The magazine hit my lap in a hospital room. I opened it to the table of contents as I do with every issue, and I scanned for my dear friend Jessica’s column, “A Beautiful Mess.” In this issue, her column was on the right page, and when I opened to it, immediately my eyes trailed to the page on the left. There sat the most beautiful picture of a Mama bear and her two cubs, titled “Carried” by Rachel Dube, with the scripture I had been speaking over my baby for days. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. (Isaiah 43:2 NIV) I sobbed, knowing in that moment that the scripture I had hidden in my heart and proclaimed over my baby was true. When we were not with Walter, Jesus was. Some can call it a maternal instinct or a guardian angel, but I know that I heard the voice of God tell me to find my baby while He had him wrapped safely in His arms. I felt the Lord’s presence and peace as I sat in the hospital room reading this scripture and seeing this beautiful photo. I prayed for God to carry me through this trial in the same way this Mama bear was carrying her cubs. What a perfect image of love. Today my wild 3-year-old gives me gray hairs daily, and I’m met with the challenges of a third-born child, always curious and always testing the boundaries. Walter hasn’t had any issues from the accident but is currently in speech and occupational therapy for the developmental delays he had before the accident. He is a miracle, perfectly restored by our loving Savior. We continue to declare Isaiah 43:2 over his life.
MEET SHANEL DAVES FROM NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
i, I’m Shanel! As a 16-year-old, I would describe myself as a lover of many things! First and foremost, Jesus, my Lord and Savior, is the passion of my life, followed by my strong enthusiasm and love for people, basketball, singing, acting, dancing, and speaking.
From a young age, I struggled with my identity, valuing others’ thoughts of me more than those of the Lord. I let the opinions of the world dictate my worth rather than putting my trust in the One who created me in His image. Through an intense gluten allergy, health problems, various trials, and losing several friend groups, my value diminished more and more by the day. And I learned that when you’re not pressing wholeheartedly into the Lord, you’re inadvertently pulling away from Him. It’s not that I was fully away from my faith, but I was tiptoeing with the world. I was choosing to focus on what people thought of me, how I was seen through the eyes of boys, etc. My insecurity grew deeper by the day, but then God began working. You see, all things are not good. My choices and what came from them hurt, but God’s Word promises that He works all things together for good, for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). So, I quit playing games with God and got serious about my faith…and that is when my whole life changed. I told the Lord I was over trying to figure it out on my own and living with clenched fists. I determined that I was ready for Him to hold the reins of my life. I said, “Lord, I’m asking You to bring in whoever You want and take out
whoever You want. Either way, I want Your hand on the door handle.” THAT is when my life was transformed in a supernatural way. Since being introduced to Voice of Truth, I have been amazed at how insightful each article is. This magazine genuinely reflects the heart of Christ and speaks the truth of His goodness on every single page. It is a blessing for my soul every time I pick it up, and I love sharing it with my teenage friends. I would like to leave you with a reminder to always press into God before allowing the opinions of the world to take hold of your heart. Stay encouraged by surrounding yourself with incredible friends who can cheer you on while you chase Jesus, regardless of what anyone thinks. He is what will give you complete joy even in the midst of what life throws at you. I would love to connect! You can find me on Instagram (@ heyshanelbrenayy) and Facebook (@Shanel Daves). And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. (Isaiah 58:11 ESV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 NIV)
LOVE NOT ES Women World Leaders has meant so much to me. I have now read the morning devotions for three years straight every day and barely miss any days. I feel that God touches the most intimate parts of my soul through these teachings each day. WWL has helped me to step out of my shell and begin to share God in a more open and transparent way like I never have before. I love having a group of women I can relate to and know that I’m not alone in some of my difficult times. I love this ministry and Who it represents so faithfully. God is so good. KARISSA SMALLEY - PITTSBURGH, PA 87
MEET STACY THOMAS FROM PANAMA CITY BEACH, FLORIDA
i Everyone. My name is Stacy Thomas. I am a lifelong Floridian with a few out-of-state diversions who now lives in Panama City Beach, Florida. I have been a pediatric Occupational Therapist for 27 years. I currently serve in a Level 3 NICU (newborn intensive care unit), where the tiniest humans have taught me many life lessons. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Joe, for 22 years. Blended, we have three adult children, a new daughter-in-law, and our dog Bella. I grew up an only child of young parents and was blessed with mild Cerebral Palsy after two complications at birth, which earns the credit for my persistence and perseverance. As a child, we moved every couple of years, learning over time to keep friendships superficial to avoid the pain of leaving them behind. I knew God growing up but sincerely admit I had no relationship with Him. I was independent and self-reliant while craving the attention and acceptance of others - habits that I would carry into my adult years and habits that God would require me to change. I enjoy everything outside. Nature is where I feel closest to God and all that He created. At my home, I have the emerald green waters and white sandy beaches at my back door. Sunsets and beach walks bring me in step with my creator while He shares whispers of peace to me with the setting of the sun. I have been blessed to travel worldwide, visiting the rich historical cultures of Italy and Jerusalem and many gems in the United States. As avid campers and hikers, my husband and I gravitate toward the National Parks. Currently, my greatest hiking achievement is completing the 25-mile Grand Canyon journey from the North Rim to the South Rim. Words could never describe the beauty of the experience.
Come, let’s talk this over! Says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! (Isaiah 1:18 TLB) In 2011, I attended Celebrate Recovery with the hopes of fixing my broken marriage and, if truth be told, fixing my husband. But the Lord quickly made me aware that I had no business fixing anyone other than myself. He began to show me the broken pieces within my soul and the uncontrolled wrong thought patterns. Every hurt and unresolved grief I had stuffed over the years was revealed. I learned to stop denying the pain and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. I also became aware of my codependent tendencies and the ongoing pain I was creating within my family. Search me, O God, and know my heart: test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path everlasting (Psalm 139: 23-24 TLB) In 2013, I temporarily stepped into a Ministry Leader role at Celebrate Recovery. Still working through co-dependency, I accepted the position to help without truly asking God for His will. But He used those years to grow my compassion and move me into selfless love. He taught me how to love the “unlovable” in the midst of their mistakes, mess, and pain. God used those seven years to prepare me for His purpose, and I can honestly say, though challenging, I count my service at Celebrate Recovery as one of the most impactful seasons of my Christian walk. Through my quiet time, God revealed that I would become a writer. I scoffed at that idea because I was not a consistent journaler, much less an effective author. I rebelled for a period of time, but the Lord made it clear that He would equip me. God aligned me with women who then aligned me with writers who aligned me with writing coaches, and here I am. Along the way, God connected me with Rusanne Jourdan, who mentioned Women World Leaders. I signed up for the Voice of Truth and began receiving it by mail. I thoroughly enjoyed the articles and encouragement. It was a blessing; however, I did not yet fully realize the extent God would use WWL in my life.
Through a series of major medical issues in 2020, I was diagnosed with Chronic Lyme Disease, which is transmitted via a tick bite. Being the outdoors type had offered me many opportunities to pick up a little friend who shared this complicated and controversial disease with me. I was stricken, and my fitness level plummeted. There were days when walking was nearly impossible, and my independent self was required to accept help from the compassionate man God had blessed me with. Today, I continue my Lyme journey with new challenges at every turn. As I write this article, it is 4 AM, and sleep evades me, yet I am thankful that God is using this affliction to grow me closer to Him while revealing my strengths. I am thankful for Women World Leaders and the ministry’s resources. So many times, especially on the days when remission seemed nearly impossible and my doubt and fears took over, Voice of Truth articles led me back to my Healer and Lover of my soul. God would remind me where He had brought me from in the articles of others’ healings. I have been encouraged as a wife and mother when reading about the other women involved through
WWL as God uses their stories to grow my prayer life and dependence on Him. I am pointed back to the scriptures, so perfectly timed, as if God had whispered directly into the author’s ear. And amazingly, it was through this international ministry that God reconnected me with one of the most precious people of my past. This strong Christian woman had planted seeds through her display of love, kindness, and commitment to Christ. Unbeknownst to her, those seeds would root deeply into my heart and direct my path towards Jesus. She had no idea the impact she made all those years ago, but through Kimberly Hobbs, I was reconnected with this dear friend and fellow author, Stephanie Fincher. Women World Leaders is no accident and is being used by God to stitch the thread connecting the fabrics of my patchwork life. It has become essential that I serve where God asks, and I look forward to growing friendships, touching lives, and loving others towards Jesus. I am passionate about sharing the gospel. However, I am the most passionate about helping others grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ. I am thankful for this calling on my life and humbly thrilled to be counted as a Woman World Leader! Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)
MEET SHARAYAH DAVES FROM NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE
i everyone! My name is Sharayah Daves, and I am a singer-songwriter at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. As a believer in the life-changing power of stories, I write songs that people can relate to and be encouraged by. I knew I wanted to be a songwriter from a young age—seven to be exact— when my brother Shafer was given three weeks to live due to an extremely rare syndrome. The doctors advised my parents to put him in hospice, yet they refused. My dad began singing “It Is Well” as his newborn baby was dying in a hospital bed, and he clung to the lyrics of an age-old hymn. At that moment, I understood the ability of a song to touch souls and restore peace despite earth-shattering circumstances. My emotions began to translate into melodies, and songwriting became a healing mechanism and natural way of processing life. Since I had worked on a film that was being screened at the International Christian Film and Music Festival, I took a trip to Orlando to attend the festival. During a meet and greet event, I was introduced to Kimberly Hobbs, and she gave me the Quarter II Edition of Voice of Truth for 2022. As I read each article, I was blown away by the magnitude of freedom, love, and jubilation that emanated from each page! I was reminded yet again of the power of a voice. As believers, we are called to use our abilities to serve the Lord, and He honors our availability by turning our efforts into beautiful stories. By simply sharing a testimony or a piece of wisdom that God has divinely inspired, many lives can be touched. My generation needs “voices of truth” more than ever, and I believe this magazine has the capacity to change the lives of countless teenage girls and young women around the globe. In this day and age, it is so easy to get distracted by social media, the news, and the lies that the enemy incessantly spews out. Without even realizing it, we can sink into the endless pit of comparison and depression. We desperately need truth. We need The Truth that is louder than the lies that constantly bombard us. 90
My favorite article was Russane Carole’s poem “Surrender.” The world always advises us to rush to the next thing, yet she prompts us to do the opposite. “Turn off everything. Come to me and with me. Take my hand.” In essence, she was quoting Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” That is exactly how my dad was able to sing “It Is Well” when life was not well, and we can all do the same when we take the time to intentionally stop, recenter, and direct our attention back to Him. I want to leave you with my life verse, Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (NIV) That pretty much sums up the key to keeping a smile on your face in the midst of a strenuous, sinful, and sad world. When we know The Truth, we have good reason to rejoice and share that joy with the people around us. Simply placing my hope in the Lord alone is what has sustained me through every trial I have faced, and it is what makes life not only tolerable, but beautiful.
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’” psalm 46:10 I am absolutely thrilled to watch how God will continue to use this magazine to inspire and revitalize the souls of women, and I encourage each and every person reading this right now to be a “voice of truth” to the people around you. To connect with Sharayah, follow or message her via Instagram @sharayahhhhh or on Facebook @ Sharayah Daves.
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WWL Global Connections CLIMBING THE MOUNTAINS OF THE WORLD TOGETHER FOR HIM
his week I had the privilege of sitting with a dear friend, Suria Shultz, from South Africa. We reminisced about the beginning of our relationship, the great work God is doing all over the world, and the many mutual friends we have and what God has accomplished through them over the last ten years. We met in 2012 when 43 women embarked on a mission to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for human trafficking projects worldwide. I am blessed to say we broke three world records with that event: the largest group of women to climb together, the largest female group to summit the mountain, and the largest group to make it to the true summit. Why? Because when God rallies women, He shows up, shows off, and we get things done together. We are better together.
During my tenure as director of the movement, Suria and I climbed many other mountains; base camp Everest, the Alps, seven 14,000 ft peaks in Colorado, and many more. The Lord literally called us all over the world to climb, speak, and serve. Eventually, the Lord led us to other callings - me to lead Masterpiece Women, a women’s movement, and Suria and her husband to launch a mission organization. As we reminisced, we spoke of many of our friends and sisters. Our group was a beautiful reflection of God’s design and purpose. On my podcast, Masterpiece Women, I have interviewed many of these women about the bold things God has called them to do. Our mission continues: to serve God, love others well, and make disciples. I love how the Lord weaves the hearts of women from all over the world to be friends, sisters, co-laborers, and collaborators. Once again, we are praying and dreaming of doing something big together. It is awesome to think of all the Lord orchestrates as He facilitates ministry worldwide. He is so very intentional. You see, the journey for me to say yes to that climb began many years before. I vividly remember sitting at my computer, knowing God was calling me to my first mission trip. But where would I go? What would I do? I looked at the description of one trip many of my friends were preparing for and thought how fun it would be to serve under Pastor Doug, the leader. But I felt the Lord say, That is not what I have for you. For weeks after that, God 92
confirmed I was to go to India. I didn’t want to, but I went. He rocked my world on that trip, including giving me some incredible lifelong friends. Two years later, I said yes to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds and awareness for the projects I had seen on that mission trip. The dearest friend I made from India agreed to be my tentmate and has remained precious to me since. For years we traveled around the world and spoke at events together. The Lord works all things out for His glory. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV) Another friend, Becky, who climbed base camp Everest with us, serves in Moldova. In 2015, I was privileged to take a church there to serve the projects. Those ladies and their teams have since returned many times. I can still picture the children and the hopelessness I witnessed. One young boy’s eyes broke my heart. He looked just like my son, Joey. The difference was that his big blue eyes were so sad, and I saw such hopelessness in them. You see, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in the world. Many women leave their children in orphanages to find income and end up being trafficked; this is a beautiful people group and, therefore, highly sought after for human trafficking. And yet their hearts are extraordinary. Despite its utter state of poverty, Moldova is currently serving thousands of refugees from Ukraine. Our friend Becky, from Canada, and her team have 80 refugees living in their headquarters. You never know how God is going to use you when you say yes. I vividly remember Becky sharing the big dreams and plans her team had to serve the people of Moldova, but they didn’t know they would be serving refugees fleeing an invasion. But God knew. So, they are trusting Him for their needed provisions. God always provides. And He equips those He calls. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) says, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own un93
derstanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. When we trust our Savior, He always makes our paths straight. Often, it makes no sense at first, but we can trust Him and watch what He does. There are so many beautiful stories of our sisters from around the world that God orchestrated to meet, build relationships, and heed the call. Just like Women World Leaders, Masterpiece Women has a vision of bringing women together to grow, serve and change the world. Together, I believe that we are going to accomplish great things for our Lord. Ladies, don’t hesitate to say YES if God calls you to do something. He has great plans for you, and you never know how He will use you! Our ministry is based on Ephesians 2:10 (NLT): For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. We want every woman to understand that she is a masterpiece and to provide a community that enables each woman to grow personally and professionally. So, what is God calling you to do? Is anything holding you back? The time is now! The Lord will equip you - because He equips those He calls. Join us at www.masterpiecewomen.org to learn more and join our movement. Stay tuned for the next big thing God is birthing in our team.
Tina Rains Founder Masterpiece Women, Speaker, Author and Executive Coach www.MasterpieceWomen.org Tina@masterpiecewomen.org
LOVE NOTES I use this wonderful magazine, Voice of Truth for my morning devotions. It’s amazing that it takes me the perfect amount of time to finish before the next one arrives. I find myself talking about what I read at work and I love to share the messages with my friends. I have also used several of the teachings within Voice of Truth as Bible Study content on months when it’s my turn to teach at church. I’ve found great ideas that lead me to more encouraging words. The examples and the content of this magazine are always positive. VOT brought me through a very tough time in my life last winter, I am grateful. I love this magazine. RACHEL WILSON - CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA
A Heartfelt Thank You To our sister & friend, Kayla Follin. She has spent numerous hours laboring in love for our Savior to graphically design this magazine! Her heart of passion, creativity and love exude in everything she does! Thank you Kayla for the beauty you’ve made come alive through these pages! Much love to you!
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)
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