Voice of Truth: 10th Edition, Quarter IV, 2022

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1 10th edition quarter IV 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.

Join us!

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

Daily Devotionals

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

Follow Along!

Instagram: @womenworldleaders

Facebook: @womenworldleaders Website: www.womenworldleaders.com

Speaking

Our Global Office Team is willing to speak at women’s events or conferences.

Empowerment – Kimberly Hobbs

Teaching – Julie Jenkins

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.

Listen to a weekly trio of podcasts!

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

www.womenworldleaders.com/learn-with-us/ podcasts/

Letter from the Founder

Dear Friends,

There is nothing more encouraging than the Bible. Throughout Voice of Truth magazine, we strive to honor God by using scripture and referencing the Bible to empower you, inspire you and strengthen you as you journey on your path of life.

Many people are encouraged when they hear a familiar Bible verse that perhaps they memorized in the past or has special meaning because of a situation in their life. I love to see how other writers share a verse that I like and how they use that scripture in their writing. The many writers and authors throughout this magazine have stories and personal reasons behind each specific verse they share. Each scripture is sought out through prayer and selected with you, the reader, in mind.

I pray as you read Voice of Truth today, you hover over all the scriptures and understand there is no coincidence why God has directed you to read with us today. It is to strengthen you and draw you closer to Him or to encourage and even teach you through the content. There is a reason you are holding this publication, contemplating spending the time to dive in. God cares about how you are feeling today and every day. He wants to meet you where you are with all the love He has for you. It is up to us individually to ask Him in prayer that He would speak to our hearts as we read and that we will hear His voice.

The many writers and authors throughout this magazine have stories and personal reasons behind each specific verse they share. Each scripture is sought out through prayer and selected with you, the reader, in mind.

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7 NIV)

Make your life a prayer. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 TPT)

God has something earmarked specifically for you as you read Voice of Truth. Whatever you are walking through in life, do not give up. Be refreshed and renewed in JOY today. Read the pages and be drawn to the power of God’s Word as it works in your heart.

So, no wonder we don’t give up. For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 TPT)

May the pages of Voice of Truth come alive with the POWER of the Word of God used within. I am praying for you as you part the pages and read today to see what scripture will leap off the page and into your heart! I pray you will find multiple scriptures that God highlights just for you. To God be the glory for how His Word will be used to encourage your soul.

I am praying for you as you part the pages and read today to see what scripture will leap off the page and into your heart! I pray you will find multiple scriptures that God highlights just for you.

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. (Isaiah 30:21 NLT)

Exceedingly, Abundantly Beyond,

Kimberly Hobbs

Founder & Executive Director kimberly@womenworldleaders.com Ephesians 3:20

Carta de Nuestra Fundadora

Queridas amigas,

No hay nada más alentador que la Biblia. A lo largo de la Voice of Truth, nos esforzamos por honrar a Dios usando las Escrituras y haciendo referencia a la Biblia para empoderarte, inspirarte y fortalecerte mientras viajas por el camino de tu vida.

Muchas personas se animan cuando escuchan un versículo bíblico familiar que tal vez lo memorizaron en el pasado o tiene un significado especial debido a una situación en su vida. Me encanta ver como otros escritores comparten un verso que me gusta y cómo usan esa escritura en sus escritos. Los varios escritores y autores a lo largo de esta revista tienen historias y razones personales detrás de cada verso específico que comparten. Cada escritura se busca a través de la oración y se seleccionan teniendolas a ustedes en mente como lectoras.

Oro mientras lees Voice of Truth hoy y pasas el cursor sobre todas las escrituras y entiende que no hay coincidencia por qué Dios te ha dirigido a leer con nosotros hoy. Es para fortalecerte y acercarte más a Él o para animarte e incluso enseñarte a través del contenido. Hay una razón por la que estás sosteniendo esta publicación, contemplando pasar el tiempo para sumergirte. Dios se preocupa por cómo te sientes hoy y cada día. Quiere encontrarte donde estés con todo el amor que tiene por ti. Depende de nosotros individualmente pedirle en oración que Él hable a nuestro corazón mientras leemos y que oiremos Su voz.

Los varios escritores y autores a lo largo de esta revista tienen historias y razones personales detrás de cada verso específico que comparten. Cada escritura se busca a través de la oración y se seleccionan teniendolas a ustedes en mente como lectoras.

Echad toda ansiedad sobre él porque él se preocupa por vosotros. (1 Pedro 5:7 NVI)

Haz de tu vida una oración. (1 Tesalonicenses 5:17 TPT)

Dios tiene algo destinado específicamente para ti mientras lees Voice of Truth. Sea lo que sea que estés atravesando en la vida, no te rindas. Se refrescada y renovada en GOZO hoy. Lee las páginas y déjate llevar por el poder de la Palabra de Dios mientras obra en tu corazón.

Entonces, no es de extrañar que no nos rindamos. Porque aunque nuestra persona exterior se desgasta gradualmente, nuestro ser interior se renueva cada día. (2 Corintios 4:16 TPT)

Que las páginas de La Voz de la Verdad cobren vida con el PODER de la Palabra de Dios usada en el interior. Estoy orando por ti mientras separas las páginas y lees hoy para ver qué escritura saltará de la página y en ¡tu corazón! Ruego que encuentres múltiples escrituras que Dios destaca solo para ti. A Dios sea la glo ria por cómo Su Palabra será usada para animar tu alma.

Estoy orando por ti mientras separas las páginas y lees hoy para ver qué escritura saltará de la página y en ¡tu corazón! Ruego que encuentres múltiples escrituras que Dios destaca solo para ti.

Tus propios oídos lo oirán. Justo detrás de ti una voz dirá: “Esto es el camino por el que debes ir”, ya sea a la derecha o a la izquierda. (Isaías 30:21 NLT)

Extremadamente, Abundantemente y Más Allá, Kimberly Hobbs

Founder & Executive Director kimberly@womenworldleaders.com Ephesians 3:20

Voice Of Truth Cover Story

Yesterday was hard. It was one of those days when the weight of the world was just heavy. We all know what those days can be like— relationships falling apart, health issues, raising children, and hectic work—all the things. Maybe you are like me. I tend to bottle everything up, and then it comes to the sur face all at once. That was yesterday.

I’ve been dealing with this thing in my life. This thing I’ve been praying about for many years as I’ve wait ed patiently on God. Waiting is not easy. It can be hard, and it can hurt. I was feeling complete despair and wanted to give up on everything. How long will I have to wait, God?

It was a long day. I was at football practice with my children when it all caved in. We were getting ready to leave and meet their dad for dinner. He pulled up next to us. At that moment, after an argument I had tried to avoid, I snapped. For the first time ever, I told my chil dren to get into their dad’s car and go eat with him. I would not be joining them at the restaurant. I drove home by myself with a full face of tears and running mascara. I couldn’t get there fast enough. The pain and defeat that I was feeling in that moment were excruciating.

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When I got home, I ran inside as fast as I could. I went straight to the bathroom to dry my tears. The mascara was burning my eyes. I was crying so hard as I washed my face. As soon as I finished, I went into my bedroom, laid my belly down on the floor, and just sobbed. I cried out to God for help.

“Please help me, God. Please help me, God.” So many times. I just kept crying and begging for help. I remem bered years ago when I was in a place this hard. I didn’t hit my knees but went straight to my belly. My arms were raised above my head. I apologized to Him for getting things wrong in my life. I thanked Him for the blessings. I told Him that I needed Him to show up. I was drowning.

“Please, God. I promise I’ll still walk this out. I’ll walk through fire and all of it, but I’m drowning today. I need a life jacket. Please, God, just let me come up for air. I can’t breathe at this moment. I’m tired. I’m worn. But I’ll keep going. I promise I won’t quit. Please throw me something. Rescue me.”

As I lay there ugly crying, I realized that the kids would return soon. I needed to get the house picked up and things organized for the next day. I wiped away my tears and got up. I listened to a couple of my favorite worship songs and went to work around the house.

I walked into the messy living room and started picking things up. I grabbed this folded 8x10 paper lying ran domly in the middle of the floor. I grabbed a few more things and headed for the kitchen. I unfolded the paper to make sure it wasn’t anything I needed to keep.

Ok. So, this is where God threw me something.

As I unfolded the paper, I saw it was a coloring sheet out of my daughter’s coloring book. It was a Bible scripture coloring book that I hadn’t seen in weeks—I couldn’t tell you as I’m writing this where that book is. The picture was colored perfectly. It was a beautiful large print but terfly with the words, “I Am Making Everything NewRevelation 21:5” I ran straight to my Bible and looked up that verse.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making every thing new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 NIV)

I began to cry and thank God over and over. I walked to my hallway, where I keep this old wooden picture of Je sus. I held that butterfly picture in my hand and leaned against the wall, just looking at Jesus. Right then, I no ticed a pink sticky note my daughter had left for me on the dryer that read, “I love you so much.”

It was right in front of me—Jesus on one side and the sticky note on the other. With tears streaming down my face, I stood there and chuckled. Actually. I was hap py—laughing and thanking God for throwing me a life jacket.

“I can breathe. I’m ok. God is still here. He is right here with me. He is in this room and on that floor, and He’s walking through this storm with me. He will split the sea.”

God revealed himself to me. Again. He knew I needed to see Him. I needed that reassurance and to know that He loves me so much. I’m not alone.

My situation didn’t change overnight. My storm is still going. But God reminded me, “I got you. I’m right here next to you in the eye of every storm you endure. Have faith. I am making everything new. Be still and know that I am God.”

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Gospel Grace

CONNIE VAN HORN (WITH SPANISH VERSION)

Writings from the Global Office WWL STAFF (WITH SPANISH VERSION)

Faith Walk

DR. CHIDI KALU

Beside Still Waters RUSANNE CAROLE Nonna’s kNOWledge CAROLYN JOY

Dear Sister DR. JIA CONWAY

Rekindle: Keeping First Love Alive LINDSEY SULLIVAN

Through a Mother’s Eyes DIANE CHEVELDAYOFF

Holy Hush DEBORAH WATSON

A Purposed Creation KERRI BRIDGES

Ever Interceding DIANA BROWN

Red Carpet Ready DEANN ALAINE

Chasing Butterflies Journals CONNIE VANHORN

A Focus on Him LILLIAN CUCUZZA

Reheated Coffee AMANDA JACKMAN

Journey with Jesus: Nuggets from the Gospel of Mark REV. LISA MORRISON

Kingdom Promise: Abundance, Hope, and a Future KELLY WILLIAMS HALE

Musings on the Book of John CONNIE HECKER

Change Your Story with Kirstin Leigh KIRSTIN LEIGH

Faith and Family DONNA WHARTENBY El Roi... the God Who Sees Me LISA HATHAWAY

Living a Holystic Life MELISSA KESSLER

Following the Son MICHELE HUGHES

Leaving A Godly Legacy KATHLEEN BARRETT

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9 17 24 26 27 29
45 46 50 52 54
CONTENTS
30 32 36 40 41
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68 70 72 74
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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

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, Anita Setran, Karen Davis, and Lisa Hathaway.

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THIS MINISTRY IS FLOURISHING BY AN ARMY OF WOMEN WORLD LEADERS. MANY THANKS TO:
CONTENTS 76 78 80 82 87 93 Prayers for the Sons of the King
God at Work Through Women Leaders Yesterday and Today
A Beautiful Mess
Coffee Chats
VOT Stories Global Connections
DR. JIA CONWAY Powerpoints:
LEECY BARNETT
JESSICA PRUKNER
TINA KADOLPH

GOSPEL GRACE

Beauty from Ashes

The phone call came in late February 2020. My mom was diagnosed with genetic lung cancer, and I was shaken to the core. How could this be? How could my mom, who shares the love of Jesus on mission trips around the world, have cancer?

Then a week later, I got a text from my dad stating he had bladder cancer.

The news of both my parents, who are divorced, beginning their journey of battling cancer sent me into a tailspin of depression. I did not know what to do or say. I was at a loss. I knew God heard my moans as I tried to process this information.

When COVID began making its way through the world, I was teaching at the local high school, and everything was moved to virtual schooling. I decided to go hiking with the assistant principal, Holly, from the high school. We had become friends and enjoyed doing things together outside the school environment. On April 28, 2020, we went for a hike—she was more open with me about personal things outside of school. Around 12 pm, we were driving back, and I saw a car coming towards us. I verbally stated, “What is going on with this car?” The next moment forever changed my life.

We were hit head-on by a drunk driver at 65 mph.

The impact was so powerful that I didn’t know what in the world had happened. I started screaming Holly’s name and banging on the windows, having no clue what to do.

As I screamed and screamed, I saw everything; I knew my friend had died right beside me. That day my life changed forever. I experienced a shift in how I see God. His love for me, showcased in every little detail of my life, became more apparent, as did the love He has for everyone around me.

That night, after I had been transported to the hospital and underwent various scans and tests, I was able to come home. My body, mind, and spirit were in complete shock.

The next day, April 29, was my birthday. How in the world could I celebrate my birthday when I had just lost my friend so tragically? This was not in my plan. I asked God numerous times, “Why did this happen? Where were you? How do I heal from this?” Things started to unravel in my life to allow me to see His plan—the plan that is so much better than mine.

I didn’t drive my car for two months due to being so traumatized with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder) and panic attacks. I couldn’t even approach my car. During those two months of stillness at home, I really started to see God in such a different way. I started to feel His presence in such a real and deep

way. God brought me to a verse that is said a lot today, but it penetrated my heart in a way like never before. Isaiah 61:3 (NLT), To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. Through this, God spoke to my heart and said, “Through all of this, my daughter, I will make beauty from your ashes.”

You see, I’ve been a Christian since I was seven years old, and I was raised in the church. But when life throws unexpected curve balls that you never see coming, there is no other choice but to press into the God who is so faithful. His love is so pure and so unconditional. There was nothing I had to do but sit while His love covered me like never before. I didn’t have to strive for His love, and I didn’t have to prove anything to God. He loves me in the depth of my brokenness.

On April 28, 2021, the one-year anniversary of the accident, I went for my routine OB/GYN appointment and a mammogram. I took the day off from work to spend time with my mom as I didn’t want to be at school. We bought spring plants to put on my deck, exactly what we did the previous year, two days before the accident. I wanted my deck to be a haven for me to sit and read, and I love flowers. Little did I know that the deck would be a place of healing for me during the time after the accident. But God sees the end from the beginning. He knew.

On May 24, 2021, I received a phone call from my OB doctor informing me she had missed something. When reviewing my mammogram images again, she saw

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GOSPEL GRACE

a spot, which is not uncommon for me. I have had a breast cyst removed before, so I didn’t blink an eye, and I went for another mammogram at the imaging center. After the 6th time going back and forth within 30 minutes, God started preparing me. I was sent to have an ultrasound and told that I needed a biopsy as soon as possible. I was still in a place of calmness because I saw God’s faithfulness the previous year with the accident. I kept recalling my favorite verse, Psalm 91:4 (NLT), He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Nothing takes God by surprise.

Then, on June 11, 2021, I got a phone call that I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. I slid down the wall in my bedroom and just sobbed. I didn’t know what all this meant. All I knew was that I had breast cancer. A 44-year-old woman with children and an amazing husband, and I had to tell them I have breast cancer. In that moment, God spoke to my broken heart and whispered, “I’ve held you through so much, and I hold you now.” This God, who sent His son Jesus to die for me, is holding me and knows all things.

I had a double mastectomy on August 12, 2021. Once again, I faced another moment that changed my life in so many ways—not only emotionally but physically and spiritually as well. I had three surgeries in six weeks. After the last surgery, I ended up spending a week in the hospital because my body rejected the implants for reconstruction. Even though this process was grueling, I found myself not questioning God at all. Who am I to question the God of the universe who created me for a purpose? In the span of a year and a half, I had a tragic car accident and breast cancer with a double mastectomy. This was a lot for me to process and walk through, but the one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that God was right beside me, holding me, walking with me, wiping my tears, and allowing me to just lay on His chest.

The God who created the sun and the moon knows every detail of your life. He sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for your sins. His love is so extravagant for you, and you do not have to do anything for His love. He wants a personal relationship with you so that you can have everlasting life. God has saved me

twice, and even if He decided it was my time to be with Him, I know that I would be in heaven because of my decision at the age of 7 to ask Jesus into my heart.

This was a lot for me to process and walk through, but the one thing I know without a shadow of a doubt is that God was right beside me, holding me, walking with me, wiping my tears, and allowing me to just lay on His chest.

God has chosen you; He pursues you; He values you, adores you, and sacrificed everything for you to have His mercy and grace. His ways are so much better than our ways. Isaiah 55:8 (NLT), “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” Walking with Jesus takes just one step of faith to receive Him as your Lord and Savior. All He wants is for you to come to Him with a heart of repentance, and you will be His for all your days.

Life with Jesus is so much better than anything else in this world. In the hardest seasons of your life, He will sit with you in the valley and never leave you. I promise you that He will make your brokenness into the most beautiful piece of art.

Lisa Hathaway is a wife and mother to four amazing children. Her heart is serving and seeing others through the eyes of Jesus. She is passionate about ensuring people feel valued and loved and know that God has a purpose for their lives. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University.

Lisa is on the leadership team for Women World Leaders and is so excited to bring women into the Kingdom of God by loving them right where they are on their journey. She is also the Lead Wellness Consultant for The Oaks Therapeutic Community.

GRACIA DEL EVANGELIO

y me estremecí hasta la médula. ¿Cómo podría ser esto? ¿Cómo podría mi mamá, que comparte el amor de Jesús en viajes misioneros alrededor del mundo, ¿terner cáncer?

Luego, una semana después, recibí un mensaje de texto de mi padre que decía que tenía cáncer de vejiga.

La noticia de que mis padres, que están divorciados, comenzando su viaje de lucha contra el cáncer me envió a una caída en picada de la depresión. No sabía qué hacer o decir. yo estaba pérdida. Sabía que Dios escuchó mis gemidos mientras trataba de procesar esta información.

Cuando COVID comenzó a abrirse camino en el mundo, estaba enseñando en la escuela secundaria local, y todo se trasladó a la escolarización virtual. Decidí ir de excursión con el la subdirectora, Holly, de la escuela secundaria. Nos habíamos hecho amigas y disfrutábamos hacer cosas juntas fuera del ámbito escolar. El 28 de abril de 2020 fuimos a una caminata - ella era más abierta conmigo sobre cosas personales fuera de la escuela. Alrededor de las 12pm, íbamos manejando de regreso, y vi un carro venir hacia nosotras. Declaré verbalmente: “¿Qué está pasando con este coche?” El momento siguiente cambió para siempre mi vida.

Un conductor ebrio nos golpeó de frente a 65 mph.

El impacto fue tan poderoso que no sabía qué había sucedido. Yo empecé gritando el nombre de Holly y golpeando las ventanas, sin saber qué hacer como yo gritaba y gritaba, lo veía todo; Sabía que mi amiga había muerto justo a mi lado.

Ese día mi vida cambió para siempre. Experimenté un cambio en la forma en que veo a Dios. su amor por mi, mostrado en cada pequeño detalle de mi vida, se hizo más evidente, al igual que el amor Él tiene para todos los que me rodean.

Esa noche, después de que me transportaran al hospital y me sometieron a varios escáneres y pruebas, pude volver a casa. Mi cuerpo, mente y espíritu estaban en completo shock.

Al día siguiente, 29 de abril, era mi cumpleaños. ¿Cómo podría celebrar mi cumpleaños cuando acababa de perder a mi amiga tan trágicamente? Esto no estaba en mi plan. Le pedí a Dios numerosas veces, “¿Por qué sucedió esto? ¿Dónde estabas? ¿Cómo me curaré de esto?” Las cosas comenzaron a desmoronarse en mi vida para permitirme ver Su plan, el plan que es mucho mejor que el mio.

No conduje mi automóvil durante dos meses debido a que estaba muy traumatizada con el trastorno de estrés postraumático y ataques de pánico. Ni siquiera podía acercarme a mi coche. Durante esos dos meses de quietud en casa, realmente comencé a ver a Dios de

tal diferente modo. Empecé a sentir Su presencia de una manera tan real y profunda. Dios trajo a un verso que se escucha mucho hoy, pero penetró en mi corazón como nunca antes, de Isaías 61:3 (NTV), A todos los que se lamentan en Israel, les dará una corona de belleza en lugar de cenizas,una gozosa bendición en lugar de luto, una festiva alabanza en lugar de desesperación. Ellos, en su justicia, serán como grandes robles que el Señor ha plantado para su propia gloria. A través de esto, Dios habló a mi corazón y dijo: “A través de todo esto, hija mía, haré belleza de tus cenizas.”

Verás, he sido cristiana desde que tenía siete años, y me crié en la iglesia. Pero cuando la vida lanza bolas curvas inesperadas que nunca ves venir, hay otra opción que presionar en el Dios que es tan fiel. Su amor es tan puro y tan incondicional. No tenía nada que hacer más que sentarme mientras Su amor me cubría como nunca antes. No tuve que esforzarme por Su amor, y no tuve que demostrarle nada a Dios. Él me ama en la profundidad de mi quebrantamiento.

El 28 de abril de 2021, primer aniversario del accidente, fui por mi rutinaria cita de obstetricia/ginecología y una mamografía. Me tomé el día libre del trabajo para pasar el tiempo con mi mamá porque no quería estar en la escuela. Compramos plantas de primavera para poner en mi cubierta, exactamente lo que hicimos el año anterior, dos días antes del accidente. Quería mi terraza para que sea un refugio para sentarme y leer, y me encantan las flores. Poco sabía que la terraza sería un lugar de curación para mí durante el tiempo posterior al accidente, pero Dios ve el final desde el principio. Él sabía.

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El 24 de mayo de 2021, recibí una llamada telefónica de mi obstetra informándome que ella obvio algo al revisar las imágenes de mi mamografía nuevamente, vio una mancha, que no es raro para mí. Me extirparon un quiste mamario antes, así que no parpadeé y me hice otra mamografía en el centro de imágenes. Después del 6 vez yendo y viniendo en 30 minutos, Dios comenzó a prepararme, me enviaron a hacerme una ecografía y me dijeron que necesitaba una biopsia lo antes posible. Todavía estaba en un lugar de tranquilidad porque vi la fidelidad de Dios el año anterior con el accidente.

Seguí recordando mi verso favorito, Salmo 91:4 (NTV): Él te cubrirá con sus plumas. Él te cobijará con sus alas. Sus promesas llenas de fe son tu armadura y tu protección. Nada toma a Dios por sorpresa.

Luego, el 11 de junio de 2021, recibí una llamada telefónica de que tenía carcinoma ductal invasivo. Me deslicé por la pared de mi dormitorio y sollocé. No sabía lo que significaba todo esto. Todo lo que yo sabía era que tenía cáncer de mama. Una mujer de 44 años con hijos y un increíble esposo, y tuve que decirles que tengo cáncer de mama. En ese momento, Dios me habló con el corazón roto y susurró: “Te he sostenido durante tanto tiempo y te sostengo ahora”. Este Dios, que envió a su hijo Jesús a morir por mí, me sostiene y sabe todas las cosas.

Tuve una mastectomía doble el 12 de agosto de 2021. Una vez más, enfrenté otro momento que cambió mi vida de muchas maneras, no solo emocionalmente sino también física y espiritualmente también. Tuve tres cirugías en seis semanas. Después de la última cirugía, terminé pasando una semana en el hospital porque mi cuerpo rechazó los implantes por reconstrucción. A pesar de que este proceso fue agotador, me encontré sin cuestionar a Dios en absoluto. ¿Quién soy yo para cuestionar al Dios del universo que me creó para un ¿objetivo? En el lapso de un año y medio, tuve un trágico accidente automovilístico y cáncer de mama con una doble mastectomía. Esto fue mucho para mí para procesar

y caminar, pero una cosa que sé sin sombra de duda es que Dios estaba justo a mi lado, sosteniéndome, caminando conmigo, limpiando mis lágrimas y permitiéndome recostarme en Su pecho.

El Dios que creó el sol y la luna conoce cada detalle de tu vida. Él envió a Su hijo Jesús a morir en la cruz por tus pecados. Su amor es tan extravagante por ti, y tú no tienes que hacer nada por su amor. Él quiere una relación personal contigo, para que puedas tener vida eterna. Dios me ha salvado dos veces, y aunque El lo decidiera era mi tiempo para estar con Él, sé que estaría en el cielo debido a mi decisión que tome a la edad de 7 años, para pedirle a Jesús que entrara en mi corazón. Dios te ha elegido; Él te persigue; Él te valora, te adora y sacrificó todo para que tengas su misericordia y gracia. Sus caminos son mucho mejores que nuestras maneras. Isaías 55:8 (NTV): “Mis pensamientos no se parecen en nada a sus pensamientos dice el Señor. Y mis caminos están muy por encima de lo que pudieran imaginarse.” Caminar con Jesús requiere solo un paso de fe para recibirlo como su Señor y Salvador. Todo lo que Él quiere es que vengas a Él con un corazón arrepentido, y seras de El todos tus días. La vida con Jesús es mucho mejor que cualquier otra cosa en este mundo. En las mas dificil temporadas de tu vida, se sentará contigo en el valle y nunca te dejará. Te prometo que Él hará de tu quebrantamiento la obra de arte más hermosa.

Lisa Hathaway es esposa y madre de cuatro hijos maravillosos. Su corazón está en el servicio y ver a los demás a través de los ojos de Jesús. Le apasiona asegurarse de que las personas se sientan valoradas y amadas y saber que Dios tiene un propósito para sus vidas. Ella está cursando una Maestría en Consejería Clínica y de Salud Mental de Liberty University.

Lisa está en el equipo de liderazgo de Mujeres Líderes Mundiales y está muy emocionada de traer mujeres al Reino de Dios amándolas justo donde están en su camino. También es consultora principal de bienestar de The Oaks Therapeutic Community.

GRACIA DEL EVANGELIO

WOMEN WORLD LEADERS PRESENTS

Our world is a battleground. Satan has waged a holy war against those God has called with purpose.

Walking through this world, we all have choices to make. We must choose to live life following our own sinful incli nations or look beyond ourselves and seek God. And God promises that when we seek Him, we will find Him. So when we find Him, we must then decide to continue living on our own or surrender to His will, understanding that He is in ultimate control. As you read these pages, you will recognize with awe that surrendering to God is far more effective than striving alone.

The contributing authors in this book share their stories which, together with the teachings presented, will shed different levels of light on the word surrender to help strengthen your relationship with God. When we let go of our own attempts to earn God’s favor and rely on Je sus Christ, we receive a deeper intimacy with Him and a greater power to serve Him. These stories and teachings, which coincide with the truth of scripture, will inspire and move you to become Surrendered to living a life with and for God!

Get your copy! Available through World Publishing and Productions, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble worldpublishingandproductions.com
worldpublishingandproductions.com

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)

W ritings from the Global Office Empowering Lives with Purpose

WALKING IN THE NEWNESS OF LIFE

W ho does not like to receive something new? A new article of clothing, a new pair of shoes, a new hairstyle… New things can often make us feel better about ourselves and our overall life.

But walking in “the newness of life” is not just a matter of changing clothes or hairstyles or our behaviors; it is about gaining a new heart and a new spirit. To walk in the newness of life requires us to abandon our judging ways and move to do God’s justice rather than our self-serving habits. God’s grace came into the world to bring reconciliation and justice, but evil spiritual powers are still at work opposing the life-giving power of God’s grace. Therefore, we would be wise to partner with God through Christ against these evil forces and walk in the newness of life, as Paul talks about in Romans 6:4.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the father, we too may live a new life. (Romans 6:4 NIV)

Walking in the newness of life requires we abandon our old way of living, leave our self-serving habits, and follow God’s justice through the life-giving POWER of God’s grace as it builds us up within the community of Christ. God’s grace does not want us to resort back to our old ways; He wants us to permanently choose to stay in the “new life” in Christ.

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Walking in this newness of life may feel challenging at first. However, when God brings us into union with Christ, transferring us from the reign of sin to the reign of grace, it causes us to be baptized into Christ and gain identification with Him, which brings indescribable change. It means our sinful inclinations may be “done away with” and “rendered powerless.” We are no longer slaves to sin; sin is no longer our master. It does not mean that sin is completely wiped out of our lives, but the power of sin in our lives is broken forever. By God’s grace, we become free to grow in holiness—sinning less and obeying God more. Thus, bringing us into a “newness” of life. Read Romans 6:4 again.

Sharing in his death by our baptism means that we were coburied and entombed with Him. When the Father’s glory raised Christ from the dead, we were also raised with him. We have been co-resurrected with him so that we could be empowered to walk in the freshness of a new life. (TPT)

Until the day when God will provide a new heaven and new earth to live in (Revelation 20:21), enjoy your “newness of life” through your “newness of spirit.” Thank God—the only able One—for making you a new creation.

For you have acquired new creation life which is continually being renewed into the likeness of the One who created you; giving you the full revelation of God. (Colossians 3:10 TPT)

Founder & Executive Director kimberly@womenworldleaders.com

Ephesians 3:20

Love Note

Reading Voice of Truth magazine has meant so much to me. It has turned my days into joy as I read scriptures and stories containing so much love.

Thank you to the team of people that have made this possible and brought a smile to the face of this shut-in woman. I am wheelchair-bound and don't get out very much these days. I look forward to every magazine that I read with gladness.

Carolyn Vaughn – Raleigh, North Carolina

EMPOWERING LIVES WITH PURPOSE

Biblical Profiles

JOSEPH: DO THE NEXT RIGHT THING

Joseph led a life full of unexpected twists and turns. Perhaps you can relate to walking a path of unforeseen circumstances. Throughout his years, Joseph endured suffering and hardships but continually strived to do the next right thing at every step. Perhaps that is why he was eventually graced with fame and honor. Joseph’s story is told in Genesis, chapters 30-50, and he is mentioned in Hebrews 11:22 as a champion of the faith. Let’s start at the beginning.

Joseph was the second youngest child of Jacob and had ten older brothers. He was born to Rachel in a family with four birth mothers. Of the four women, Jacob loved Joseph’s mother the most, so he had a special place in his heart for Joseph and his full brother, Benjamin—especially after Rachel died while giving birth to Benjamin.

Joseph, likely because he was favored by his father, became overconfident as a youth. Though he had good in his heart and was blessed by God with uncommon wisdom, it took Joseph a while to understand how to handle his privilege maturely.

Joseph was a bit “spoiled,” we would say in today’s terms— and, as a result, his brothers turned against him. When he was a teenager, after he told his brothers about two dreams he had in which the brothers bowed down to him,

the brothers plotted to kill him. Instead of killing him, however, they connivingly sold Joseph into slavery and told their father that wild animals must have eaten him.

Joseph went from being an adored son to a piece of merchandise in mere hours. He was transported to Egypt, where he was sold to Potiphar, one of Pharoah’s officials. We can only imagine the dismay and fear that filled the young man as he was, no doubt, treated woefully on the caravan that delivered him to a country where he didn’t even speak the language.

We can only imagine the dismay and fear that filled the young man as he was

Scripture doesn’t tell us of Joseph’s attitude on the trip or as he arrived at his new lodgings, but we can surmise that he must have been compliant to have been placed in such an esteemed household. We do learn that, once there, the Lord gave him success in everything he did. (Genesis 39:3 NIV) IMAGINE! Being so far out of your comfort zone, yet still garnering success. Joseph found favor with Potiphar, who eventually put him in charge of the entire household. We may imagine that Joseph luckily fell into a fortunate circumstance, but Genesis 39:2 (NIV) tells us, The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered.

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The Lord was with Joseph and gave him success. But Joseph undoubtedly clung to the Lord and kept his focus on doing the next right thing.

Joseph’s troubles were far from over! Genesis 39:6 (NIV) tells us that Joseph was well-built and handsome. Potiphar’s wife noticed, and she threw herself at him. Joseph again did the next right thing as he turned away from the lustful advances of his master’s wife, which led her to frame him and landed him in prison in the dungeon.

But again, scripture tells us that the Lord was with him. (Genesis 39:21 NIV) And it wasn’t long before Joseph was put in charge of those in prison.

Imagine the nasty attitude Joseph could have exhibited— and he would’ve been justified (at least in my mind)! But instead, he walked above the fray and simply did the next right thing in front of him.

Joseph earned respect, even in the dungeon. Yet even after he correctly interpreted the dreams of a couple of fellow inmates—one of whom became reinstated to his role as the cupbearer for the king of Egypt—he remained in prison for two more years.

Joseph did the right thing. Even in prison, he acted responsibly and spent time reaching out to help others. And yet he remained in that dungeon. Can you relate? Perhaps you haven’t been in prison, but we have all been in dry spots where we feel like we keep doing the next right thing and are obediently listening to God, yet it seems as if we are forgotten. So, what do we do? We can take a lesson from Joseph and just keep doing the next right thing.

Joseph did the right thing. Even in prison, he acted responsibly and spent time reaching out to help others. And yet he remained in that dungeon. Can you relate?

Eventually, Joseph got out of prison by the grace of God, who guided him and gave him wisdom. And he became Pharoah’s right-hand man—in charge of the whole country. Everything that Joseph had gone through prepared him for that position. God used Joseph’s unusual circumstances, every twist and turn, to mature him from that overconfident young man to a responsible 30-yearold with the grace and wisdom to follow God as He guided Joseph’s leadership of a country and an entire region through a devastating famine.

Oh, there is so much more to the story! During the famine, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt seeking food, unknowingly bowing down to him as they didn’t recognize the brother they had unmercifully sold into slavery. But Joseph found forgiveness in his heart for his brothers— doing the next right thing—and brought his family to Egypt, giving them—God’s family, the Israelites—a place of safety and refuge.

On our walk with God, we will likely never completely understand what God is up to! Sometimes we may feel like we are given the keys to the kingdom, and other times, we will feel like we are in the dungeon. But we can always trust that if we have given our lives to Christ, He is with us and will empower us to do the next right thing in obedience to Him.

Trust God with your next step. Keep your chin up and your attitude positive. And do the next right thing. The Lord will be with you!

Julie
BIBLICAL PROFILES

Sólo podemos imaginar la consternación y miedo que llenó al joven ya que fue

Perfiles Bíblicos

Joseph llevó una vida llena de giros y vueltas inesperadas. Tal vez te puedas relacionar con caminar por un camino lleno de circunstancias imprevistas. A lo largo de sus años, José soportó sufrimientos y penalidades, pero se esforzó continuamente por hacer lo correcto en cada paso. Quizás es por eso que finalmente fue agraciado con fama y honor. La historia de José se cuenta en Génesis, capítulos 30-50 y se le menciona en Hebreos 11:22 como campeón de la fe. Empecemos desde el principio.

José era el segundo hijo menor de Jacob y tenía diez hermanos mayores. Él nació de Rachel en una familia con cuatro madres biológicas. De las cuatro mujeres, Jacob amaba más a la madre de José, así que tenía un lugar especial en su corazón para José y su hermano Benjamín, especialmente después de que Raquel muriera mientras daba a luz a Benjamín.

Joseph, probablemente porque su padre lo favorecía, se volvió demasiado confiado cuando era joven, aunque el tenia un buen corazón y fue bendecido por Dios con una sabiduría poco común, a José le tomó un tiempo entender cómo manejar su privilegio con madurez.

José estaba un poco “malcriado”, diríamos en los términos de hoy, y, como resultado, sus hermanos se volvieron contra él. Cuando era un adolescente, después de contarles a sus hermanos dos sueños que tuvo en los que los hermanos se inclinaron ante él, los hermanos conspiraron para matarlo. Sin embargo, en lugar de matarlo, confabuladamente lo vendieron a José como esclavo y le dijeron a su padre que los animales salvajes se lo debían comido.

Joseph pasó de ser un hijo adorado a una mercancía en cuestión de horas. fue transportado a Egipto, donde fue vendido a Potifar, uno de los oficiales de Faraón. Sólo podemos imaginar la consternación y miedo que llenó al joven ya que fue, sin duda, tratado lamentablemente en la caravana que lo entregó a un país donde ni siquiera hablaba el idioma.

La Escritura no nos habla de la actitud de José en el viaje o cuando llegó a su nuevo alojamiento, pero podemos suponer que debe haber

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sido obediente para haber sido colocado en una casa tan estimada. Nos dan a entender que, una vez allí, el Señor le dio éxito en todo lo que hizo. (Génesis 39:3 NVI)

¡IMAGÍNESEN!

Estar tan lejos de tu zona de confort, y aun así cosechar éxito. José encontró el favor de Potifar, quien eventualmente lo puso a cargo de toda la casa. Podemos imaginar que José cayó afortunadamente en un circunstancia afortunada, pero Génesis 39:2 (NVI) nos dice, El Señor estuvo con José para que prosperara.

El Señor estaba con José y le dio éxito. Pero José indudablemente se aferró al Señor y mantuvo su enfoque en hacer lo siguiente correcto.

¡Los problemas de José estaban lejos de terminar! Génesis 39:6 (NVI) nos dice que José era de buena constitución y guapo. La esposa de Potifar se dio cuenta y se arrojó sobre él. Joseph volvió a hacer lo correcto mientras se alejaba de los avances lujuriosos de la esposa de su amo, lo que la llevó a incriminarlo y aterrizó él en prisión en el calabozo.

Pero nuevamente, las Escrituras nos dicen que el Señor estaba con él. (Génesis 39: 21 NVI) Y no pasó mucho tiempo antes de que José fue puesto a cargo de los que estaban en prisión.

Imagínese la actitud desagradable que Joseph podría haber exhibido, y habría estado justificado (al menos en mi pensamiento) ! Pero en lugar de eso, caminó por encima de su lucha y simplemente hizo lo siguiente correcto frente a él.

José se ganó el respeto, incluso en el calabozo. Sin embargo, incluso después de haber interpretado correctamente los sueños de un par de compañeros de prisión, uno de los cuales fue reintegrado a su papel de copero del rey de Egipto—permaneció en prisión por dos años más.

José hizo lo correcto. Incluso en prisión, actuó con responsabilidad y dedicó tiempo a ayudar otros. Y, sin embargo, permaneció en esa prisión. ¿Te identificas? Tal vez no hayas estado en prisión, pero todos hemos estado en lugares secos donde sentimos que seguimos haciendo lo correcto y estamos obedientemente escuchando a Dios, pero parece que estamos olvidados. ¿Entonces que hacemos? Podemos tomar una lección de Joseph y seguir haciendo lo correcto.

Finalmente, José salió de prisión por la gracia de Dios, quien lo guió y le dio sabiduría. Y él se convirtió en la mano derecha de Faraón, a cargo de todo el país. Todo lo que José había pasado lo preparó para ese puesto.

José hizo lo correcto. Incluso en prisión, actuó con responsabilidad y dedicó tiempo a ayudar otros. Y, sin embargo, permaneció en esa prisión.

¿Te identificas?

Dios usó las circunstancias inusuales de José, cada giro y vuelta, madurar de ese joven demasiado confiado a un hombre de 30 años responsable con la gracia y sabiduría para seguir a Dios mientras guiaba el liderazgo de José de un país y una región entera a través de una hambruna devastadora.

¡Oh, hay mucho más en la historia! Durante la hambruna, los hermanos de José llegaron a Egipto en busca de comida, sin saberlo, inclinándose ante él porque no reconocieron al hermano que habían vendido sin piedad a la esclavitud. Pero José encontró perdón en su corazón para sus hermanos, haciendo lo siguiente correcto, y trajo a su familia a Egipto, dándoles—la familia de Dios, los israelitas—un lugar de seguridad y refugio.

¡En nuestro caminar con Dios, probablemente nunca entenderemos completamente lo que Dios está haciendo! Algunas veces nosotros podemos sentir que se nos dan las llaves del reino, y otras veces, sentiremos que estamos en la prisión. Pero siempre podemos confiar en que si hemos entregado nuestra vida a Cristo, Él está con nosotros y lo hará empoderandonos para hacer lo siguiente correcto en obediencia a Él.

Confía en Dios con tu próximo paso. Mantén la barbilla en alto y tu actitud positiva. Y haz lo siguiente correcto.

¡El Señor estará contigo!

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PERFILES BIBLICOS

Join us on Zoom for something new!

INTRODUCING

Leadership Connect

From wherever you are on the globe, join us! Meet and connect with women from around the world and find out how you can be a leader wherever you are located. You can use your God-given gifts to help others draw closer to Jesus. We can do it together. Women World Leaders is here to help!

RSVP at womenworldleaders.com/contact-us

Every 3rd Monday of the Month at 7pm EST

FAITH WALK

Maintaining Peace During the Storm

Your Peace in God is a powerful FORCE! And it is to be guarded. You’re stepping into a blessed life of abundance! Disconnect from the people who will only bring drama or distraction. This is an important season for you, growth requires focus. Clarify your dream. Finish unfinished projects. Do what God says. Get on track and turn up the volume.

These were the words I heard in my prayer time the last few months as I wrestled with so many issues with which I was dealing. I pray these same words encourage you in your circumstances. My mind couldn’t focus. I felt I was sinking fast in a lot of back-to-back warfare. In one month, I faced several heartbreaking crises. My brand new grandson lay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) while his mother—her marriage falling apart—endured postpartum depression. My youngest daughter dealt with an impending major surgery. My soon-to-be-married daughter and son-in-love caught COVID coupled with flu a few short weeks before their wedding. All were quite intense and stressful at the same time. I knew I had to run to God in prayer

as I cried out to Him for direction and help in saving my family.

During one of my prayer times, with tears running down my face, I finally experienced calm while I read the Scriptures. John 16:33 echoed in my spirit. Please minister to me, I asked Holy Spirit. Dependency on Him is the one thing to count on in times of despair, uncertainty, or challenges. And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don’t always know what to pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. (Romans 8:26 NLT)

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 16:33 NIV)

In other words, Jesus says to us, “Relax, I got this, no matter how bad it seems.” Turmoil may surround you, but God’s peace will steady you. Prayerfully, we are also sharing God’s peace with those we meet as well. Others should sense the peace of God within us.

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How do you maintain your peace during the storm? Here are three nuggets to ponder.

1. Focus on GRATITUDE! Look back at past victories and give thanks.

2. Release your THANKSGIVING and PRAISE. Begin to continually shift the atmosphere and still the storms of life with thanksgiving and praise. Listen to songs of worship, dance, and rejoice.

3. Heighten your EXPECTATION. If you stop expecting and praying, you stop receiving. God will always show up for the one who is expecting and believing Him to move in their circumstance.

I received great news as I pressed into prayer and thanksgiving with fellow Women World Leaders who stood in prayer with me. God moved to rectify every single situation. I am believing God that the rest of your year shall be a season of supernatural assistance, and you will be marvelously helped by our loving Father.

Lord, we thank you for the awesome privilege to worship You and serve one another. As we finish out the rest of the year, help us to trust in You with all our hearts and not lean on our own understanding. In all our ways, help us submit to You. Make our paths straight and guide us down the right path.

I know in this life there will be times of suffering and hardship but help us take heart because we know You have overcome the world. We receive Your peace now.

Give us the courage to face the challenges that come. Help us to persevere and not give up. Give us the strength to face these storms. Pour out Your peace over us and keep us in Your perfect peace.

We want to always look to You when trials come. Instead of blaming You or looking elsewhere for the answers, we want to look to You and trust You completely. This is hard to do, but we ask You to help us surrender everything to You—our emotions, our thoughts, our actions. Holy Spirit, take control.

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your help through this extremely difficult time. We know you’ve got us in the palm of Your hand. We praise You and put all our faith and trust in You. Thank You, God, for hearing and answering our prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dr. Chidi Kalu is a Women World Leader committed to the ministry of the gospel. Her passion is to see all of God’s children live a fulfilling life centered on Jesus Christ.

Dr. Kalu has a doctorate in Christian Education. For over twenty-five years, she’s experienced the hand of God move in the lives of those to whom she ministered with the prophetic gift of encouragement, teaching, coaching, and intercessory prayer. She lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, and enjoys spending time with her four adult children and four grandkids.

Jesus says to us, “Relax, I got this, no matter how bad it seems.” Turmoil may surround you, but God’s peace will steady you. Prayerfully, we are also sharing God’s peace with those we meet as well.

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BESIDE STILL WATERS

JUST FOR YOU

Unwrap my Words, my Teachings, my Thoughts They are gifts chosen just for you, my child

Let them soak into your being

Penetrating every part of your mind, heart & thoughts

Sit, quietly and still for a while

Listen to my Words Hear the beat of My Heart Breathe in My Wisdom I have promised to impart Breathe in the Love I have so deeply & completely just for you

My Arms are wrapped around you always Unwrap My Words Unwrap my gift of love They are present & anew each morning They tuck you in bed each night before you sleep Unwrap the great gift ever bestowed upon another

My love Look no further I am here, always near Just for You!

NONNA’S kNOWledge

Be Strong and Courageous NOW

In a world filled with right being wrong and wrong being right, we need to stand up for God’s values we read in the Bible. Our children and grandchildren are being indoctrinated at a young age to compromise the very basics of Christianity.

We need to teach our children and grandchildren to be strong and courageous when it comes to standing up for what is right.

God told Joshua in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (NIV)

“Wherever you go” means wherever you go. God will always be with us in everything we do!

We should teach our young ones to hold true to biblical values. It is okay to pray before we eat in a

public setting. It is okay to lift hands in praise during the worship service. It is okay to help the kid in school that others are mocking. It is okay to let someone know you read the Bible and pray.

God’s Word reminds us in Psalm 119:105 NIV, Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. God will be with us when we share the gospel and tell others about Jesus.

God was with Joshua when He stopped the Jordan River from flowing so the Israelites could walk safely over dry land to the Promised Land. (Joshua 3:14-17) Likewise, God will always help us to be strong and courageous when we need Him most. God will always protect us and give us the strength to do what is right. God will always give us the words to say and the people to talk with as we share the good news.

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Standing up for what is right in today’s present time can mean going against the flow. More now than ever, evil seems to prevail, and we are getting further and further away from biblical truths. It is sometimes hard for adults to carry themselves in a godly manner. There is so much opposition around us with government, schools, the workforce, and even in some churches. Can you imagine how hard it is for our children to make sense of right and wrong? Lately, we have heard of people trying to do good and ending up in bad situations. However, as a believer, God will never allow the enemy to do anything to us that will not be for our good and bring Him glory.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NIV)

As we pray for our children and grandchildren, remember God is answering our prayers exactly the way we would answer those prayers if we knew what God knows and had a pure heart as He does. God is sovereign and loves us more than we comprehend. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:2 NIV) God knew this life would be filled with hardship and opposition. The Lord says “be strong and courageous” eleven times in Deuteronomy, Joshua, and 1 & 2 Chronicles.

And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.” (Joshua 4:20-24 NIV)

The Israelites were to teach their children and grandchildren that God was always with them, even when times got difficult. NOW more than ever, we are also instructed to pass biblical values to our children, teaching them about the miraculous power of our Lord.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)

As we pray for our children and grandchildren, remember God is answering our prayers exactly the way we would answer those prayers if we knew what God knows and had a pure heart as He does. God is sovereign and loves us more than we comprehend.

Joshua instructed the older generation to be faithful in teaching their children and grandchildren the power of the Lord.

Nonna’s Chuckle: I was in the pool with my granddaughter, who was 4 years old at the time. She had swimmies on, so I knew she would be safe as I swam laps. While I was at the other end of the pool, she yelled over to me, “Hey Nonna! What are you doing way over there? You’re supposed to be right next to me, protecting me from drowning!”

Let’s keep our dear ones close to our hearts, teaching and praying, so we can help to protect them from drowning in this sinful world.

Carolyn Joy is a Southwest Florida Real Estate Agent, mother of three married children and Nonna to eleven grandchildren. She serves in her church and helps lead a women’s Bible study in her community.

She’s also a published author. The Overflow of the Heart and Let Your Heart Overflow with Joy are both devotional journals that encourage scripture memorization and writing prayers. Her fiction novel, Out of the Grey Zone, demonstrates God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional love.

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NONNA’S KNOWLEDGE

DEAR SISTER

This wondrous knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to reach it. (Psalm 139:6 CSB)

Dear sister, I know that you may not fully understand the why or how of God’s love for you. I know you may look at all that you have been through in life and the scars that seem more apparent than they are distant as a constant reflection. I even know that you feel the need to keep telling God all about you as if He does not already know who you are. But today I am reminding you that God loves you through it all. He loves you, flaws and all, because all that He sees is the beauty in you of what He created. All God sees is His wonder; in His righteousness, He sees the workmanship of a masterpiece that He created in you. Your failures are not your destiny or your purpose. Your place of void is where God dwells and embraces you. He is too wondrous to imagine because He is an amazing God that rises above every place of defeat, every tribulation, and every test so that you never fail. His wondrous knowledge is beyond you, but not away from you.

REKINDLE: KEEPING FIRST LOVE ALIVE

Awaiting the Bridegroom’s Arrival

“Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.” Do you recognize these words from the old hymn? Maybe you sang it in Sunday school as a little girl like I did. It remains to this day one of my favorites. The simplicity of the lyrics and the movement of the melody captures something deep in my soul. And maybe, like me, you have also sung this song countless times without truly realizing what it is you are asking for.

Jesus speaks of this kind of oil in Matthew 25:1-13. In this parable, Jesus describes ten virgins—five of whom are wise and five who are foolish. They all go out to meet the bridegroom, the wise with flasks of oil for their lamps and the foolish without. When the bridegroom is delayed in his coming, the virgins all fall asleep. Then at midnight, there is a shout, “Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” (Mathew 25:6 ESV) The virgins awake and trim their lamps, but the foolish five discover

Could it be that the foolish ones were so focused on getting into the wedding that they missed the beauty of getting to know the bridegroom himself? Do not be mistaken or misled, my friends. Jesus Christ wants to know you, intimately. He wants to commune with you, personally.

they are running out of oil. They ask the wise to share some of their oil with them, but the wise reply, “Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.” (Mathew 25:9 ESV)

As they go out to buy more oil, the bridegroom comes and takes those who have their lamps still burning to the wedding with him, and he shuts the door. Later the others come to him and cry, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But He answered, “Truly I say to you, I do not know you.” (Matthew 25:11-12 ESV)

Let’s take a moment to meditate on what Jesus is saying here. Half of those who await the bridegroom miss his coming and aren’t allowed into the wedding feast. How can this be? Unlike the wise, the foolish virgins do not bring extra flasks of oil for their lamps. In the Bible, oil is often used to symbolize God’s Spirit; His anointing. (ref. Luke 4:18, Acts 10:38) The foolish virgins thought they could rely on the anointing of their wise sisters. But as we see evidenced in the parable, anointing is not something that can be shared. We cannot rely on the anointing of our loved ones, pastors, mentors, or anyone else. We must have our own oil within us; we must be filled with the Spirit of God by personally communing with Him.

Intimacy with Christ cannot be borrowed or bought. As we read later in the text, even when the foolish virgins go out to buy oil and arrive at the wedding later, the bridegroom still denies them entry. Why? Because he does not know them, he says. Could it be that the foolish ones were so focused on getting into the wedding that they missed the beauty of getting to know the bridegroom himself? Do not be mistaken or misled, my friends. Jesus Christ wants to

know you, intimately. He wants to commune with you, personally. In fact, He is absolutely emphatic about this very thing—that He must know you, and you know Him. He is so intent on marrying you, His bride, that He sent His only Son to come as a man, to live a perfect life only to be hung on a cross, be buried, resurrected, and now seated at the right hand of the heavenly throne, all to make a way for you to be with Him. Would you marry someone you don’t know? Likewise, Christ wants to know the bride He intends on marrying.

What we learn from the parable is not only that we cannot rely on others’ anointing, we also cannot rely on the oil we had yesterday. Our lamps must be continually filled. Intimacy must be kept. The foolish virgins missed the bridegroom, not because they didn’t have oil to begin with, but because they ran out of it. Their lamps ceased to burn because they did not keep them full of oil. They grew indifferent to the bridegroom, apathetic in their pursuit of him, and their flame of first love died.

Friends, if you feel your first love light has grown dull, if your lamp is running out of oil, know that there is a storehouse of His presence waiting for you. All you have to do is ask Him to fill you with His Spirit. A true relationship with Christ will not come without your effort. Fortunately for us, He tore the veil and made a way for us to meet with Him. He remains faithful to us even when we are faithless. His love is jealous for you. He is absolutely, positively in love with you. If you have the desire to know Him and your heart longs to be with Him, to be filled with His Spirit and have your lamp filled, then this is the evidence of His Spirit already at work within you. The Spirit is drawing you to Himself, inviting you to feast on His goodness. Give us oil in our lamps, Lord Jesus. Keep us burning for you and ready for your coming!

Lindsey Sullivan is a lover of Jesus, the founder of Alabaster Heart Ministry, a singer-songwriter, artist, and journalist. She graduated from Pepperdine University in Spring of 2021 and currently resides in Southwest Florida where she serves as a worship leader and music teacher for Lionheart Ministry.

Connect with Lindsey at alabasterheart.co

Journey

THROUGH A MOTHER’S EYES

In recent editions, this column has revolved around chasing sunsets and finding waterfalls. If you haven’t been following, I encourage you to visit womenworldleaders.com and read my latest articles online, where I reference the paths we take and the many distractions we encounter along the way.

We all have a lot of distractions in this world and should recognize that many of our twists and turns in life can take us on unexpected paths. My husband and I are in the stage of life where we are trying to balance many roles - one of which is being parents to three adult girls. We have a saying that we often remind

each other of: “It’s their journey.” There are life lessons and consequences we, as parents, want to protect our kids from. But at some point, we must acknowledge they are on their own journey, and it’s not about us. It helps to recognize that our kids don’t intentionally do things to hurt or even disappoint us; the truth is, they aren’t even thinking about us in most cases. It’s about them and their journey, not us or our expectations.

For us, a difficult realization has been that our adult kids still expect us to share our concerns but don’t feel obliged to follow our advice. That is when it’s important to remember they are accountable for their

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Jamie Cheveldayoff in Indonesia

own decisions and actions. This doesn’t mean our role is pain-free. On the contrary, their consequences impact others, us included. But when we internalize and understand that we are accountable only for what we do, it becomes easier to release our adult children into God’s hands.

Now don’t think for one moment we’ve thrown up our hands and said, “Oh well, they’re on their own.” But ultimately, we’ve realized our adult children’s lives are in God’s hands, not ours. This fact elevates our prayer life, requiring us to pray even more intentionally and specifically. Honestly, I can’t imagine life (much less parenting) without God’s help.

Prayers for our kids will change as they grow. For example, there may be a point when we request God grant them discernment, make them teachable and humble, or even convict them of a decision we see as compromising. At other times we may petition God to open their minds and hearts so they can see from His perspective. Or we may pray for protection and awareness of their surroundings or that they would seek godly relationships and be surrounded by godly influences. And sometimes, especially with adult children, we may call on God to change our hearts or their hearts so we may, together, align with God’s will. The list can go on and on. Every situation and prayer is unique and has the potential to bring us closer together as God helps us understand each other.

Maybe you’ve been accused as a parent of being a broken record. Unfortunately, in certain seasons, it can be natural for children to have difficulty hearing truth from their parents. That’s why praying for godly people to enter their circle of influence is huge. Don’t just pray for a godly friend to infiltrate their lives; instead, pray that God would surround them with influences for Him. You know the old sayings, “It takes an army” or “It takes a village”? Well, they are true. To get through life’s battles, we need community. As parents, we are essential. But alone, we cannot fill all the roles that our children need. And in the end, we want our children to be healthy and happy.

The bottom line is that we can trust God is in control of every aspect of our children’s lives, but He still requires us to do our part. We must never stop trying, speaking the truth in love, living out the example God requires, and most importantly, lifting them up in prayer. Additionally, it’s okay that our children witness our struggles, which may teach them things they’ll never forget. One of our girls recently acknowledged the rocky times in our marriage, recognizing that we always returned to our foundation and commitment and went forward stronger. This spoke volumes to her. Not only that we didn’t give up or that marriage is not easy, but that we kept our covenant with God and sought His will. And that makes all the difference.

There’s certainly no simple or perfect path in parenting, but building your foundation on God’s truth will keep you on track. It will keep or bring back your kids. He never promised it would be easy; He actually promised we would face trials. But God also promised He would always carry us through. Know that as you raise your kids and see time fly from childhood to teenage years to adulthood, they are watching and growing at every stage. Our kids pay attention and notice your commitment to each other under God’s covenant. And at some point, they will recognize that nothing can change your love for them either.

Psalm 25:4-10 (NLT) sums it all up.

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you. Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love, which you have shown from long ages past. Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth. Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.

The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

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Voice
Come As You Are MARCH 11TH, 9AM-11AM
MARK YOUR CALENDARS Join us for a time of worship prayer, special speakers, live podcast interview, and connection! • Tickets on sale January 1st • Visit womenworldleaders.com for more information and to secure your ticket • Light refreshments and coffee provided
AT KEISER UNIVERSITY PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

HOLY HUSH

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. Now she is headed home to face her reality.

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.

“Can we put the top down?” Rebekka asks with excitement.

Felicity will do anything for her sister—especially now, as she has gained such freedom after losing so much in her life. “Anything for you, Sis!”

Felicity unlocks the doors remotely, and she watches her baby sister climb into the car with pure joy. One more click of the button and the soft top of the convertible begins its rise and descends into the trunk of the car.

“Want to stop for a milkshake before we go home?” Felicity asks.

“Oh no. I can’t wait to get home and tell Aaron that I have forgiven him and how much I love him and am looking forward to growing old and getting wrinkly and gray together. How fast does your car go?” Rebekka leans over to look at the speed-o-meter.

Felicity smiles, “The speed limit between here and home is 55.”

“Great! 64 it is. Except that one corner. You might want to take it at 55.” Rebekka’s face darkens. “Actually, can we take the back road?”

“Anything for you, Sis!” Felicity smiles as they drive away.

Partway home, Rebekka leans over and turns on the radio. The chorus of the song

“I heard this song earlier today.”

Felicity reaches over and turns it down. “It was one of Aaron’s favorites for sure.”

Rebekka becomes concerned, “What do you mean ‘was’ one?”

Felicity replies, “It’s just a figure of speech. Hey, when we get back to the house, wanna do communion together?”

Rebekka grows excited again, “Can we? It’s been so long.”

Part X

Rebekka pauses and tries to remember the last time they had communion together.

“Why did they stop doing communion at church?” Rebekka asks.

“They didn’t. It just seems like whenever Pastor does, you’re always gone.” Felicity replies as they pull into the driveway. “By the way, Aaron’s not here. You know that, right?”

Rebekka looks around for Aaron’s truck, “I understand. Can we go out back and wait together?”

Felicity smiles and agrees to hang out with her sister. Something she missed doing in their younger years has become part of their middle-aged adult life that Felicity cherishes. If only it could have come about a different way.

“Why don’t you go pick a spot while I put the top back on the car?” Felicity encourages Rebekka.

Rebekka reaches in the backseat for her bag and realizes she left it on the boat. Unconcerned because she knows she can trust the captain to care for it, she makes her way to the back of the house.

Off in the distance, she sees a large rock near the trees. Its grandeur calls out to her, and she makes her way toward it as she waits for Felicity. The fresh smell of sweetgrass growing nearby comforts her with the familiarity of home.

“Home is where the heart is.” Aaron’s voice warms her heart. She looks around and realizes it’s a memory of when they first started dating.

Rebekka climbs on the rock and sits cross-legged as she waits for Felicity, but what’s taking her so long?

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And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. Mark 11:25 NKJV HOLY HUSH

What We Learn

Pushing the limits.

Rebekka is so excited to be home that she’s willing to push beyond the speed limit to 1 mph below breaking the law that would generate a ticket. Most of us have been there—in a hurry to arrive at a destination for whatever reason.

Rebekka is eager to arrive home to tell her husband that she forgives him and how much she loves him and looks forward to their future together. If she had wings and could fly, I believe she would have been at Mach speed. Yet Aaron wasn’t there.

It didn’t matter how fast she would have traveled to arrive home, the very person she wanted to have a conversation with was not there waiting for her. Instead, Rebekka and Felicity were going to have to spend some time waiting.

When we have good news to share with others, our pure joy and enthusiasm outweigh the rest of our cares. Even forgetting her baggage in the boat didn’t rob Rebekka of the joy she found in the freedom that comes with forgiveness.

While she’s waiting, she can sense Aaron is near when she hears his voice in her memory saying, “Home is where the heart is.”

I gave my heart to Jesus when I was eight years old. I rededicated my life at twenty-one, and I experienced such joy when that hole in my heart was filled. So much so that my husband wanted to find out what was happening to me. He had never seen me so genuinely happy. When I explained to him that I had grabbed ahold of what it really means to be forgiven by Jesus and not be condemned to go to hell, everything changed.

I changed.

Our relationship changed. He changed.

We both became happy, healthy, imperfect individuals who loved God, accepted Jesus wholeheartedly, and couldn’t wait to tell the rest of the world of His mercy, grace, and love.

Rebekka experienced that too. She already knew and loved God but was harboring unforgiveness in her heart. When she embraced forgiveness and gave it to someone else, her entire world changed for the better. She had to look at the unforgiveness first.

How about you? Is unforgiveness, even a tiny bit, holding you back from experiencing the totality of God’s love for you?

Is unforgiveness, even a tiny bit, holding you back from experiencing the totality of God’s love for you?

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25 NKJV)

Now is the time to climb on the rock and push the limits of God’s forgiveness by communing with Him and learning from the life of Jesus as he hung on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing.” Then allow it to become part of your life too.

*Please join us in the next Voice of Truth for the final installment of Holy Hush

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A PURPOSED CREATION

Worship is Influential

Every day I will praise you! I will praise your name continually! (Psalm 145:2 NET)

Have you ever noticed the powerful effect music can have on you? Rhythmic sounds of a drum can stir up feelings of excitement and anticipation or motivate us to get up off our feet and DO something! Whether that be dancing, cleaning, or finishing that project with the looming deadline, it stirs up a feeling of action and response. The sweeping sounds of an orchestra can take us on a journey of emotions with rises and falls, crescendos and decrescendos, ascents and descents. A simple love song filled with lyrics that say exactly what our heart feels can elicit affections of ardor, tenderness, and passion, while for others it can evoke sentiments less pleasant. Loss, grief, heartbreak, and betrayal are experiences that can embitter and disenchant, creating a negative reaction to songs meant to inspire romance.

Music has such an impressive and persuasive influence. It goes far beyond the physical into the realm of the soul and spirit. Having the

power to affect the atmosphere of our home, our surroundings, and the very core of who we each are, it is an impactful conduit that should not be taken lightly.

Worship lifts us to a place outside of our circumstances, with our eyes fixed on the Creator of all. It brings the heavenly into our midst. Worship inspires, encourages, convicts, enlightens, relieves, and liberates us, all while bringing glory and honor to the One who is worthy. It can be a place of freedom and release. It can be a lighthouse. A lifeboat.

As you go about your day, as you tune to your favorite station or put on your favorite playlist, I encourage you to consider the effect it will have on you, your home, your family, your decisions, your emotional and spiritual well-being. Set the tone of your home. Set the tone of your heart. Set the tone of your spirit. Allow worship to have an everyday place on your song list. And when especially needed, set it on repeat.

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EVER INTERCEDING

How Can I Pray Effectively?

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. (Matthew 6:7 ESV)

While there is no such thing as the right prayer, the way we approach prayer is important. God is not concerned with how we put our words together as we pray to Him; He is concerned with the humility of our hearts. Effective prayer seeks the face of God above our own desires and puts the needs of others above our own.

We at Women World Leaders believe strongly in prayer and the power of prayer. We have witnessed the power of God because of our praying. This ministry was bathed in prayer from its onset, has relied on prayer as a huge part of our daily work, and will continue to stand on the power of prayer as we know our communication with God is what holds us up. Prayer is and should always be our foundation and our FIRST go-to!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8 ESV)

God knows what is BEST and answers us accordingly. Whether His response is a yes, no, or wait, we can trust that He will give us whatever is the BEST for us!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

Scripture says, Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. (Jeremiah 33:3 ESV)

How do we call out to God? Prayer. Prayer is how we speak with God; God speaks to us through His Word.

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When we know God, we are aligned with Him and in tune with His will. This enables us to pray according to what pleases Him.

Six Points for Praying Effectively:

1) SEEK GOD FIRST

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV)

We must seek God first in all things as we pray.

2) DELIGHT IN GOD’S WILL

Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. (Exodus 33:13 ESV)

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 ESV)

When we know God, we are aligned with Him and in tune with His will. This enables us to pray according to what pleases Him.

3) PRAY WITH CONFIDENCE

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15 ESV)

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. (Hebrews 4:16 ESV)

4) BE EVER INTERCEDING

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV)

It’s not that we need to spend all day on our knees praying, but God does call us to remain in His presence and keep a prayerful attitude all day. In this vein, we can also send up quick prayers in every circumstance as we go through the day. For example, when going through the day, we can say, ‘Lord help me find this book, item …help me finish my work in a timely manner …give me the words to say to Sally.’ And when He answers, we should be quick to thank and praise Him!

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EVER INTERCEDING

5) KNOW THAT GOD ANSWERS IN HIS TIME

God is never early nor late! He is just on time!

But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness. (Psalm 69:13 ESV)

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! (Psalm 37:7 ESV)

6) GIVE GOD THE GLORY

Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; in the coastlands of the sea, give glory to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. (Isaiah 24:15 ESV)

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16 ESV)

I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. (Isaiah 42:8 ESV)

God does not share the glory with anyone. He gets it ALL!

In closing, let me share a favorite passage in Scripture:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:6-8 ESV)

In reading the passage of scripture above, we are reminded that the Lord calls us to do EVERYTHING in our lives through prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to Him.

I encourage you to be ever interceding and to maintain a longing, a desire, to say, “God, I’m longing for you to be God in this relationship, situation, etc.” Then watch God work according to His will.

Let’s talk with our Father God:

Father God, may we be people that are ever interceding. Help us delight in you, seek your will and be quick to give you the praise in whatever way you choose to answer. We trust you and know you have the best for us. In the name of Jesus, AMEN

I encourage you to be ever interceding and to maintain a longing, a desire, to say, “God, I’m longing for you to be God in this relationship, situation, etc.” Then watch God work according to His will.

RED CARPET READY

Almost Made It

Iwear many hats: Christian, wife, mama, comedienne, actor, and KLUTZ. Yep. Being graceful is a quality I’ve never had. Falling has been a regular character in my sitcom of life. I had to learn the skill of falling “the right way.” I have fallen while hiking, walking, rollerblading, and standing still. You get it. When I fall, I go ALL IN…literally. Some time ago, I fell off my bike. I almost made it to the grass. I got up from that fall with gravel in my mouth. Oh wait, that was actually MY two front teeth—I just thought it was gravel. I should get a trophy, “Almost Made It”!!!

I’ve almost made the “Top 3”. I’ve almost made that recipe the right way. Who knew that a comedy career could be birthed from an identity of almost making it!? I’ve talked to my husband recently about how great I am at “almost adulting” because there are clean sheets on the bed. Then I privately bragged to myself about how I could be mature if I needed to be. Should I mention that I’m approaching 50? AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Do you ever feel that way? Like you’re almost making it? You’ve come so close to hitting a grand slam only to find out that it’s not a grand slam in game 7 of The World Series, but more like a Grand Slam on a Denny’s menu. That can be soooo disappointing!

I sure am grateful for the Bible, God’s love letter to you and me. I read Psalm 145:14 The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down. (NASB 1995) Whew, what a relief. Falling is a lot easier if I’m lower to the ground. But if I take the right posture in the first place, like in James 4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up. (NIV), then as many times as I fall, He will raise me up again! If falling were a sport, I would be the all-time gold medal champion.

We all know that falling from a lower position hurts less (I learned that by flying off the merry-go-round in elementary school). I would rather maintain a strong and humble posture on my knees than fall over and over because I want to run in heels on a slip-n-slide.

GUESS WHAT? No one is ever just Red Carpet Ready. It takes practice walking in those heels! It takes TIME taping armpit fat inside that gown, learning that I don’t have to put hemorrhoid cream under the bags of my eyes. There are better products for that nowadays! The same goes for the “Almost Made It” mentality. Follow the instructions of the Word and practice what He says we should do. Then, we can have the testimony change of 2 Timothy 4:7-8, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness (NIV), rather than a trophy that says, “Almost Made It”.

Blessings, DeAnn Alaine

DeAnn Alaine is a comedienne whose mandate from the Lord is to bring joy to the world. She is the CEO of ComeeDeAnn Productions LLC and host of the awardwinning carwash comedy show, Modwash Moments with DeAnn Alaine on SOLWIN TV. In addition to writing for WWL, DeAnn performs stand-up comedy! Check her out at www. deannalaine.com

CHASING BUTTERFLIES JOURNALS

Messy Beautiful Courage

To know God, we must fully surrender to His will. We go to Him with empty hands. If you fully surrender to God, He will equip you with everything you need, including the courage you lack. My life is my journey with God. I hope that sharing my story will give hope, belief, and courage to a lost world. I pray that it will allow you to find your wings in this life so you can fly closer to Him. I can promise you that God will give you wings, and then He’ll make you use them. There is a command stated several times in the Bible telling us to act with courage, strength, and obedience to the Lord with confidence in His power. 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)

In August 2014, I gave my whole heart to Jesus. It was quite difficult for me to take this leap of faith. Not because I was afraid to be a good Christian or to have a relationship with Jesus, but rather because I didn’t feel good enough to be in God’s family. I thought I had to fix myself first. I thought if I could just be less broken and messy…. Well, I had it all wrong. I learned that it’s God who does the fixing. He finds us in our broken place and pieces us back together—piece by piece. Sometimes we must be so broken that He is all we have left. It’s in this place of desperation that we call out to God.

God completely stripped me of everything. I had a beautiful home in a desirable neighborhood, nice things, and a picture-perfect “looking” family. I thought those things were important and made me important. In the blink of an eye, those things I held close were gone. I had nothing left. I would endure nineteen long months of being in the eye of this storm. It was the hardest time of my life but the most beautiful and life-changing time as well. This is where I began flexing my courage. You see, I didn’t understand at the time, but God was at work in my life. He

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was calling me out. But sometimes, we are too distracted to hear or see Him. He’s a clever God. He knew that He would have to remove some distractions to get my attention.

After I got saved, my circumstances didn’t change instantly. Life was still hard. So hard. I was tired of struggling; I wanted to give up most days. I couldn’t see the light at the end of it, but I decided to keep fighting. That required more courage. That was the first of many trips down the quitting lane. They say, “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle.” That is not true in my story. I think He does give us more than we can handle. It’s during those times of suffering, when it gets unbearably hard, that He moves!

There were days I didn’t know how I would survive. I had nothing. I remember sitting in a park with my children, worried about money and how I would buy the necessities. I sat in the grass with empty hands and a heart crying out to my Father for help. In that moment, a miracle happened. I wiped away the tears and decided to check a card I had not looked at in a while. I called the number on the back and, to my surprise, it had enough money to get us exactly what we needed. It wasn’t much, but it was just enough. God did that often throughout my journey, especially in those early days. I regularly tell people that money is the least of my worries. I do not worry about money or how I will survive financially. I am completely dependent on and trust God to provide everything I need. That was a tough lesson in the beginning, but it’s so sustaining in my life now.

Faith is not just believing God can; faith is knowing God will.

It was a beautiful fall day. The weather was amazing, and I was taking a nap in my car while my baby slept. We had the windows down; the only sounds were the birds singing and the trees blowing in the wind. When I woke, I was amazed at the most beautiful blue butterfly on my window. It just sat there in complete peace. It wasn’t startled or scared, and it gave me minutes to observe it. I had never seen a butterfly that close up. That day I started chasing God. God finds the most beautiful and precious way to draw us to Him. He knew I would need a constant reminder of my new life and His love for me. He knew I was weak and that this world is tempting and dark. He knew I would need something so sweet and powerful that would ultimately connect me to Him. Clever God. It worked! At that moment, I began “Chasing Butterflies.”

There were days I didn’t know how I would survive. I had nothing. I remember sitting in a park with my children, worried about money and how I would buy the necessities. I sat in the grass with empty hands and a heart crying out to my Father for help.

In that moment, a miracle happened.

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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)

Over the next year, God continued to show me many great miracles. I started having a deep desire to share all these amazing miracles with others. I became so desperate for God and to know His Word. I began seeing this world from a different perspective. My heart was changing; I was changing and becoming a completely different person—a new creation! God rescued me. He loved me when I couldn’t love myself. He loved me when no one else was around to love me. He saved me from this broken world and gave me life. He gave me eternal life and a purpose to live. We can chase miracles by looking outside of what the world tells us to believe and having a little courage.

God continued to show me many great miracles. I started having a deep desire to share all these amazing miracles with others. I became so desperate for God and to know His Word.

Be still and quiet your noisy soul. Your answer is blowing in the wind.

Jesus didn’t come for perfect bodies. He came for willing hearts. All you need is courage and faith. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you have; God can use you. Jesus came to this world to save us from our sin. He gave His life for me. I want my life to be an example of His love. I want to show the world that God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. He can use you if you surrender and allow Him to take control. He can give you a new life that has meaning and purpose. God has the power to change a human heart. Be open to receiving the miracles God is willing to send your way. The Bible tells us to go out and share with the world. This takes courage, and to share my

story is to tell of Him. God revealed himself to me in a mighty way. He grabbed my attention and my heart. Now God says, “Go out and tell the world what I have done for you.” All you need is a little courage. Let God do the rest.

Courage is a funny thing. We think we can do anything and everything until the moment it’s time to act. That’s when the fear sets in and does everything in its power to talk us out of our courage. God promised to give Gideon the strength he needed, but Gideon was too overcome by his limitations and weaknesses. He failed to see how God was going to work through him. We can all go through this in our own life. Fear often makes us wait longer than God intends. Courage allows us to act on God’s mission and purpose for our life. God called on Gideon to do something bigger than he thought he could do. Gideon was sure he couldn’t do the task God had asked of him. It’s in the impossible task and situations that God allows our courage to be exercised. This pours something in us— something that can endure almost anything. I like to call it built-in courage.

God calls us all to certain assignments. Every single human with a heart has a gift, but nearly all assignments take courage and confidence. We often begin by responding, “I can’t do this, God. I’m not good enough.”

I understand because this is how I feel most days, but my faith tells me that God will give me what I need. I must be brave and have courage. In those moments of “I’m not good enough,” God says, “I’m sending you. You are exactly what I’m looking for.”

I knew I wanted to share about God with the whole world, but I didn’t feel qualified. After I got saved, I enrolled in Bible college. I thought I would need a Bible degree to be credible. I enrolled my children

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CHASING BUTTERFLIES JOURNALS

in a Christian school, thinking they needed to look the part as well. But this is what the world wants you to think about God and your relationship with Him. It’s not a contest to see who measures up. Thank goodness

I learned this early on. God was going to make sure that I did. I wasn’t able to walk that pretty, straightlooking line if I tried, and trust me, I tried really hard. God wants your heart, not your abilities. Please get that! God is after a relationship with you. He doesn’t care how many degrees you have or if you look the part at church. The truth is, He will often use the messy, broken, and insecure straggler walking down the hall. Do not count someone out because of how they look or if it seems like they can’t bring much to the table. God wants us to come to Him with nothing in our hands and a humble heart. That’s it! God will do the rest.

Gideon had so much fear stored up inside of him. He was insecure and was the smallest of the smallest, but he was willing to do what God had called him to do.

Our call takes courage. Shaking and trembling, we are called to go and trust God to take care of the rest. He just needs willing hearts, bodies, and minds. He doesn’t call the most educated, perfectly put-together person to get the job done. He is looking for the faithful, available, and those with teachable hearts to be His hands and feet. He finds a heart set on Him, and He calls it out and claims it. He provides everything we need. We just need to be ready, willing, and have just a bit of courage. Sometimes our courage is messy and broken, but God can work with that.

This messy, beautiful courage will get us through whatever God has called us to accomplish.

This messy, beautiful courage will get us through this life and onto the next.

See past messy, see past broken, and you might just see a miracle.

I can’t wait to share some of my messy miracles with you in the next edition.

Until next time, trust God and live with courage!

Love Note

I feel the Holy Spirit every time I open each magazine. The reason why we are so adamant about sharing these stories with you is that the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. Voice of Truth magazine is a door of hope. A path for biblical truths to be shared and invitations for others to know the love of Christ Jesus our Savior. This is why we are alive, so that others may have the opportunity to know Him.

A FOCUS ON HIM

Dare To Be Different

Affectionately known as “Tweets,” the rare yellow male Northern Cardinal suddenly appeared in the swampy woods of North Central Florida. There he was, in all his glory and splendor, showing off his extraordinary yellow feathers while courting a female cardinal. “Tweets” is one of 10-15 yellow cardinals out of the millions of cardinals in the entire United States. He has a rare genetic mutation. He is missing a protein that normally turns his feathers red from the various foods he eats and instead turns his feathers yellow. But that doesn’t stop him from acting like a cardinal and being all he can be. In fact, he’s a rock star, and he knows it! He is unique, unusual, one-in-millions, and exactly as God made him.

As I photograph God’s creation, especially wildlife, I am in awe of His creativity and variety. Many of the animals within each species look alike, and every now and then, you see a “Tweets.”

Humans are completely different and set apart from the animal kingdom. The major difference is we are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27 NIV). We can talk, think, reason, make decisions, worship, and invent, just to name a few of our unique attributes.

No two humans are alike. God made each of us oneof-a-kind, special, rare editions; unique with different DNA, looks, personalities, abilities, strengths, weak nesses, and spiritual gifts (once we become Chris

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tians). God designed each of us as original creations, exactly how He wants us to be. We are not an accident or a freak of nature. We are individually created on purpose and with a purpose. We are created to be unique and different, and to glorify God!

The Psalmist tells us that God knit us together in our mother’s womb and we are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV). God knew us before we were formed in the womb, and set us apart before we were born (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV). He has a unique plan for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV).

God views us as valuable in His eyes. In fact, we are His most valuable creation and prized possession. He created you and me to have fellowship with Him. We are beautiful in His sight. We ARE the apple of God’s eye. WE BELONG TO HIM! We are chosen, set apart, and different.

God has given each of us various abilities and gifts to be used for His glory. For example, some are musically inclined, artistic, great at math, able to work wonders with their hands, inventors, or administrators. Once we become a Christian, God gives each of us individual spiritual gifts or abilities as an expression of the Holy Spirit to empower us to serve in the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-12 NIV). Gifts such as service, evangelism, teaching, giving, leadership, mercy, encouragement, and hospitality enable us to minister to believers and unbelievers.

You may not be where you want to be or who you want to be yet, but God gave you certain abilities and gifts to be used for His glory. You may have heard the phrase, “bloom where you’re planted.” You have gifts and abilities that God has given you to use right now for His glory! Accept who you are in Christ. Be different, take a stand, and share the good news of Jesus! Other people’s lives are depending on it for all of eternity!

“Tweets” is unique, different, and he is one in millions - and so are we who have been created in God’s image. Dare to be different by being all you can be, exactly as God made you, for the kingdom and glory of God!

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. 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.

You may not be where you want to be or who you want to be yet, but God gave you certain abilities and gifts to be used for His glory. Accept who you are in Christ. Be different, take a stand, and share the good news of Jesus! Other people’s lives are depending on it for all of eternity!

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REHEATED COFFEE

Coffee Fruits

With four young children under the age of six, life often feels overwhelming. Changing diapers, chauffeuring children all over, trying to find time to be a good wife, and feeling like I can’t catch my breath or find any balance can be daunting.

One day, I stood in front of the microwave, reheating my coffee for the fifth time. The Lord stopped me and reminded me of the only sustenance I need. It is Him. While stirring in frustration over not being able to finish a cup of coffee in peace, I was reminded that God alone equips me for this season, not the caffeine that I was using in my “survival mode.”

God has called me to the four wild souls that we are raising. They are His children whom He has loaned to my husband and me. Wow! He trusts us that much! So while it is so easy to feel inadequate in this Pinterest and social media culture, He has given these children to me, knowing I am who they need. They are part of my purpose, and I am part of theirs.

We always hear about “pouring from an empty cup,” but what about pouring from a cold cup? Sometimes I think we can get so “cold” in the busyness of raising children that we forget to heat up our cup with our Creator, who gave us this season. What if leaning into Him was like getting served your favorite hot cup of coffee? Maybe we should stop in front of the microwave,

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breathe in, and ask God for peace in the moment. What if He meets us right where we are? With the messy bun, unbrushed teeth, milksoiled t-shirt, and baby spit-up as an accessory? What if He looks at us and says, “She is good.” In the moments we care for everyone we love, we can know He is waiting with open arms to take care of us. He meets us right where we are.

And in this season, I’m in front of the microwave. And He is right here with me.

He gives us the power to be good stewards of our families and caretakers of our homes. As moms, we can recognize and lean into His offer of refreshment—even in those moments when we feel incapable of fulfilling our calling. Every morning I lean into Galatians 5:22-23, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (ESV)

He gives us the power to be good stewards of our families and caretakers of our homes. As moms, we can recognize and lean into His offer of refreshment—even in those moments when we feel incapable of fulfilling our calling.

Let’s heat up our cups and hearts with these fruits. The next time I find myself at the microwave, I will be praying the Lord renews these attributes in my heart.

Lord, allow your Spirit to move through my words, my actions, and my life with these children. Allow me to be a loving mother, full of your joy, consumed in peace, patient with the children who know all the buttons to push, kind in my words, and good and faithful to who you’ve called me to be as a wife and mother. Help me be gentle in discipline and correction, quick to listen, slow to anger and speak, and to be in control.

Amanda Jackman is from the small town of Imlay City, Michigan. She and her husband, Brad, have four children under the age of six (Bradley 6, Juliet 5, Walter 4, and Arthur 2). She has a Paralegal Studies degree and enjoys reading and writing. She loves the busy life of being a wife and mother of four.

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JOURNEY WITH JESUS: NUGGETS FROM THE GOSPEL OF MARK

Unclean, Unclean! (Mark 1:40-45, NIV)

When COVID first hit in 2019, anyone who contracted the disease was basically considered unclean. They had to quarantine for two weeks and could not go back to work or out in public until five days after they tested negative. They were considered to be the marginalized, on the outskirts of society. The purpose of their isolation was to protect the health of the community from the dreaded contagion.

In Mark 1:40-45, we find a man with leprosy on his knees begging Jesus to make him clean. Lepers were victims of far more than the disease itself. Yes, the disease robbed them of their health, but it also robbed them of their name, occupation, family, fellowship, and a worshipping community. They weren’t to have contact with society, and if they came near to anyone, they had to yell out, “Unclean, unclean!” In Biblical times, leprosy was viewed as a curse from God, and the cure could only be affected by God.

It’s highly provocative and offensive for the leper to come near to Jesus. He compromises Jesus’ ritual cleanliness when he approaches Him. The leper’s actions reveal his desperation. He risks everything on the chance that Jesus can cleanse and restore him to health and to society.

Jesus’ response is no less scandalous. He turns to the leper rather than turning away from him as would be expected. Jesus’ compassion supersedes the Mosaic law that says if one is touched by a leper he is defiled. Jesus reaches out and decontaminates the unclean leper by His touch rather than the uncleanliness of the leper contaminating Jesus.

The touch of Jesus is what we all desperately need. The question is: Are we willing, no matter how provocative or offensive our disease, to approach Jesus and ask Him to touch our lives? From the leprous man, we can see that Jesus is not repulsed by our uncleanness. Instead, He is moved by compassion and turns toward us rather than away from us. His desire is to decontaminate each of us from all that contaminates us. May we be willing to approach Jesus in our need and allow His compassionate touch to bring cleansing in our lives today.

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

KINGDOM HARVEST

Women World Leaders is now in 50+ countries – His Gospel is changing lives. Unite with Us, Share in the Harvest!

We are committed to bringing in a harvest through Voice of Truth, which is available for free digitally and, going forward from this edition, in the printed version to our donors. The Lord is our provider, and as this magazine grows daily, we invite you to help us bring in the harvest. Your partnership with us in prayer and giving is a seed blossoming in the hearts of women around the globe. As you give, we are praying and trusting that the Lord will bless you and meet your needs according to His riches in glory. We praise the Lord for you and thank you for your obedience and generosity.

Give on our website at womenworldleaders.com OR

mail a check to:
Women World Leaders PO Box 210895 Royal Palm Beach, FL 33421 (Check payable to Women World Leaders)
Women World Leaders is a registered 501(c)3 non profit. EIN: 85-4351245

KINGDOM PROMISE: ABUNDANCE, HOPE, AND A FUTURE

The Power of Forgiveness

Have you ever made a choice that you felt was unforgivable? A conscious decision that filled you with so much guilt and shame that you felt disqualified from God’s plans for your life?

I have.

We WILL make bad decisions in our life. It’s inevitable. And it’s also how we grow and learn. The key is recognizing—and taking responsibility for—the decisions we make. If we are to move into the future God has planned for us, we must OWN our mistakes. We cannot blame others for our choices. We must come to the Father and ask for forgiveness.

The truth is, God already knows. He knows US. He’s the One who created us, after all. Therefore, God is not

at all surprised when we mess up! Truly. Our sin may delay His plans for us—sideline it for a time while we LEARN and GROW—BUT God will never forsake us.

He won’t stop loving us.

Take King David, for example. The Bible tells us that David was the youngest son of Jesse, a prominent man in Bethlehem who was a sheep farmer. He likely grew up hearing many stories about God and His faithfulness. We know that God says David was “a man after my own heart.” (Acts 13:22 NLT)

But what was it that made him so special to the Lord?

David was basically a regular kid who often helped his dad with the family business. One day, while he was out tending to the sheep, his dad asked him to bring

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lunch to his three oldest brothers. They were soldiers in the Israelite army. (1 Samuel 17)

David arrived just as the Israelites and the Philistines were headed to the battlefield. While he was talking with his brothers, he heard a shout coming from the Philistine side. It was the giant, Goliath, who, at this point, had been mocking and taunting the Israelites for 40 days.

Can you imagine? David was outraged! “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (1 Samuel 17: 26 NIV)

David BELIEVED God and had incredible faith. “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:47 NIV)

David was the apple of God’s eye, yet he made poor choices later in life. Like sleeping with Bathsheba. And then he had her husband killed! Can you imagine all the feelings David had? Shame, guilt, remorse.

Yet on the battlefield that day, he recalled God’s faithfulness. That time, God delivered him from the bear and the lion, before the moment with Goliath. Can you recall a time when the Lord was there for you? When he battled YOUR giant.

It’s easy to forget the times God was there for us when we feel like we’ve disappointed Him. I have often wondered how God could love me when I’ve messed up so badly. But the Bible says: As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12 NIV)

God doesn’t keep score of what we do—or don’t do. His grace is enough.

David exhibited extreme faith when he defeated that giant with just five small stones. He knew all he needed was his faith in God.

Faith is what we believe. What we believe—and think—we will become. David was a warrior even

though he did not look like it. The giant laughed at him, but David did not flounder. He had faith.

If we are to move into the future God has planned for us, we must OWN our mistakes. We cannot blame others for our choices. We must come to the Father and ask for forgiveness.

The truth is, God already knows. He knows US.

I pray our faith is so great that we believe what God says about us, especially when we make mistakes. And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6 NLT)

God was there for David. And He is here for us. Always. We tend to wander away, especially when we know we’ve messed up. This is exactly the time we should draw closer to God.

Sister, God is not surprised when we fall short. Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross was for YOU—and for me.

He died so that all our sins are forgiven. All our mistakes. All our poor choices. Past, present, and future.

Kelly Williams Hale is an author, speaker, and coach. Through inner healing and intimacy work, Kelly teaches women how to get past proving their worth and how to fall in love with God. You are invited to download her free guide: You are enough. 5 steps to slay self-doubt and start living your best life at www.thebebravelife.com.

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MUSINGS ON THE BOOK OF JOHN

Jesus Wants My Follow-Up Questions

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.”

“How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

After dropping the “truth bomb” on Nicodemus, Jesus waits for the effects to show. Nicodemus is thinking about it. He is confused. He cares enough to stick with it, to ask Jesus the only thing he can think of—which is in our current colloquial, “Huh? Say what?”

There is a picture in Nicodemus’s mind that has arisen because of Jesus’s words, and since the picture makes no sense to him, he shares it as he questions Jesus with a “how?” question. “How can a grown man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?” Thinking about that word picture as a mother of five regarding my grown children, all I can say is, “Oh my!” I am sure glad this is not what Jesus had in mind!

Jesus’s answer to “the how question” comes with the same announcement of authority and truth as His first statement, which declared the need to be born again. “Truly truly.” This time Jesus added, “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.” Jesus went into more detail and explanation about the Spirit. Do you remember the first breath of your firstborn? Or the last breath of a loved one? Or have you been to a wake and looked upon the dead body of a loved one, recognizing that an empty shell is before you? Do you ever wonder about the breath that animates life? (Animated per the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition, means “filled with activity, vigor, or spirit; lively.”)

We took our first breath as a baby and were “born” from our mother’s womb. When we are born again, we take our first spiritual breath, born from above.

My spiritual body must be born by the Spirit in order to enter the next world. Yes! Stop and marvel at this—marvel at the thought of another world beyond this one. Take time to put our mortal life into an eternal perspective.

I love the way Jesus chose to speak to this very learned man about a very key question. As I share truth, I want to be like Jesus.

How does Jesus answer questions? How does He teach others to follow Him?

Let’s look at “how” Jesus’ answers respond to Nic’s “how” question.

First, Jesus answers questions by speaking with authority. Then, He allows time for the hearer to be confused and waits for the follow-up question. He then explains further.

• First, He gives a brief statement of concise truth.

• Second, He offers an explanation—a distinction between the physical and the spiritual worlds and physical and spiritual bodies

• Third, Jesus offers Nic a longer and deeper understanding. By speaking in plural form, He now refers to Himself and the Father and explains His purpose—eternal life. Jesus has come for the entire world.

Do I spend enough time lingering on this truth? There are two worlds. My physical body is living in a physical world. My spiritual body must be born by the Spirit in order to enter the next world. Yes! Stop and marvel at this—marvel at the thought of another world beyond this one. Take time to put our mortal life into an eternal perspective. Think how many eggs there are in every woman, but not all are fertilized and born as flesh into the world. Most are flushed away. Yet, with God as Father, we can be born from above. When God Himself fertilizes our souls, we are born again. Just like pregnancy, this is a process that takes time. We must allow time for God to work in our hearts and in the hearts of those we love and with whom we share His truth. Jesus allowed time for Nicodemus to grow, and He has allowed time for us to grow. Lord, I trust You to work in the hearts of those I love.

Just like the very seeds of the earth, which take time to sprout through the hard seed shell, the growth in our lives also takes time. God waters us with the Word of life, and we grow, slowly working our way through the dirt, breaking through the hard crust, and sprouting into the light of day! What promise of fruit there is.

Remember, it was Nicodemus who came to tend to the body of Jesus as it was taken from the cross. It was he who brought the pounds of myrrh and aloe for the burial of Jesus’ body.

Lord, continue to grow in me in my spiritual life. Let me be mindful of eternal truth while yet in this earthly form. Help me be more like You in body and soul.

Just like the very seeds of the earth, which take time to sprout through the hard seed shell, the growth in our lives also takes time. God waters us with the Word of life, and we grow, slowly working our way through the dirt, breaking through the hard crust, and sprouting into the light of day! What promise of fruit there is.

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ON THE
OF JOHN
MUSINGS
BOOK

Provisions

John 3:9-21 (NIV)

“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”

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. For God did not send is Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Jesus states clearly that believing in the Son of Man (who is to be lifted up the same way Moses lifted the serpent when the people were in the wilderness) will bring eternal life. In Moses’ day, physical life was saved

by merely looking at what God provided (when they were in the wilderness of sin). Just so, today eternal life is provided by the turning to the Son of Man, who also has been lifted up (at the cross). This is the context for the oft-quoted verse stating how much God loved us, that He gave Himself as Son so that those who believe in Him will have eternal life. Jesus came to save, not judge, those who believe in Him. We are all prejudged by the existence of our sin, born into condemnation for sin. BUT God has provided a way out! By faith in Him, in Jesus specifically. No other name but the name of Jesus saves. It is spelled out to us here, in John, by Jesus Himself as spoken to Nicodemus the Pharisee. If there is confusion about someone’s faith, we can look to their deeds. How do they live? How do I live?

• Is my life a faithful witness to who I am?

• Yes, it is.

• Really?

• Consistently?

• And is it true to Him?

Let’s examine ourselves today in the light of who God is. Does my life reflect Him? Where do I need to come to Him in confession to be washed clean and renewed so that I may walk a faithful walk reflecting who God is in me?

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.

CHANGE YOUR STORY WITH KIRSTIN LEIGH

Faithfully Waiting

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (Psalm 27:13 NKJV)

Is it just me? Am I the only one who has a problem with waiting? Just hearing the word WAIT makes my heart beat a little faster. It doesn’t matter if it’s waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting for a real person to come to the phone when I’m on hold, waiting for my hair to dry, or waiting for a green light; waiting is… difficult.

And when it comes to waiting on God—that’s a whole different kind of waiting!

What about you? Do you find it hard to wait on God’s promises to be revealed in your life? To see the healing you’re claiming manifest? To receive the answers you’re seeking?

In Psalm 27:13, David says, I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. (NKJV)

In heaven, we will be immersed in the “goodness of the Lord.” But I, like David, want to see it here! I used to say, “I have to believe.” As I grew with God, that changed to “I get to believe.” Believing is a privilege that God has given us. It is a gift.

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focus on who God is, the miracles He has already done, and the goodness that surrounds you.

Ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to listen. To Believe. To Faithfully Wait.

So back to the whole “waiting” thing. Waiting isn’t in my genes. I have to work at waiting.

Waiting takes a disciplined mind. We have to kick the doubt out and focus on God’s Word. We have to choose faith over fear. God’s promises over our disappointment. The goodness of God vs. the sometimes sadness of life. We have to visualize our future rather than dwell on our past. We must believe that where we are right now is not who we are.

Waiting takes on a new meaning with each season. But it always means digging deeper into God’s Word, spending more time with Him, and asking Him what He wants us to do while we wait.

We also need to ask ourselves a question: Do we really believe God will come through for us? Do we truly trust Him?

We can only trust God to the extent that we know Him. The Bible is our foundation. But knowing God based on what the disciples and others said about Him isn’t enough. The Bible is meant to lead us into an intimate relationship with our Father—our Creator.

Think of it like this: What if I told you my BFF was the most loving, courageous, bravest, purest person you would ever meet? That she was perfect. First, you probably wouldn’t believe me. Second, you would definitely want to meet her!

Having an intimate relationship with God, history with Him, and daily communication empowers you to TRUST Him.

We wait at the red light because we trust that it will turn green. We stay on hold because we trust someone will eventually take our call. Why do we believe these things? Because they have happened a million times. However, the light could be broken, and a “robot” could answer our call.

The Bible tells us in 1 Peter that everything on this earth will fade. But that the Word of God will endure forever. God’s Word is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His Word is LIFE.

Whether you’re waiting on a job, a promotion, a relationship to be revived, a dream to catch fire, your health to be restored, or your heart to heal, focus on who God is, the miracles He has already done, and the goodness that surrounds you.

Ask the Holy Spirit for the grace to listen. To Believe. To Faithfully Wait.

What you do while you’re waiting 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: www. thechangeyourstoryworkshop.com

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FAITH AND FAMILY

Count Your Blessings in Life

Everyone wants the good things in life. I do. Don’t you? People strive for materialistic things, influential relationships, or highpaying jobs. Others compare their lives to this world as seen on the news, TV, or social media, which places their focus on personal satisfaction. Instead, we need to redirect our focus in gratefulness to the One from whom all good things come.

Our God and Creator knows our needs. Isaiah 49:16 (NIV) tells us God holds you or has engraved you on the palms of His hands. You are always on His mind. Verse 15 puts it another way, I will not forget you. He knows your needs and provides for them daily. Psalm 23 reminds us that we shall not want. We lack nothing from our Shepherd and Almighty Father’s hands. According to Aristotle, the hand is a symbol of giving a blessing. God’s hands aare blessings of strength, power, and protection. James 1:17 states that whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God, our Father. These gifts are His blessings of peace, protection, His presence, and grace in our circumstances. We should thank our Creator for His gifts.

“Count Your Blessings,” a traditional hymn written in the late 1800s by Johnson Oatman, reflects his optimistic faith and teachings. The verses of this song suggest when we are discouraged, burdened, and conflicted, we should turn to God to look for His blessings. This reflection provides a reminder of God’s promise and assurance of what He has done and will do in our lives. Also, this perspective should help redirect our focus on counting His blessings to remember the good gifts in life. This hymn instructs us to look beyond our difficulties and struggles to discover and recognize His protection, deliverance, grace, favor, and peace. The song directs us to list, name, and remember each and every blessing.

“May the Lord bless you and smile on you and be gracious you his favor and give you his anyone, anytime. Pray to intercede family, friends, neighbors,

and protect you. May the Lord gracious to you. May the Lord show his peace.” Pray this prayer over intercede for God’s favor upon neighbors, and co-workers. Anyone.

Hebrews 6:13-18 confirms God’s oath and assurance of His promised blessings for those who trust in Him. You will find those worries, burdens, and conflicts lessen and disappear as God lifts them off your shoulders. Blessings cannot be bought or earned. Oatman describes in song that you will be surprised to find what God has done for you. After listing and counting your blessings, you can then thank Him with true gratefulness, thanksgiving, hope, and peace. We must teach our children the lessons Oatman wrote in this wonderful hymn. Daily, acknowledge how our heavenly Father provides sunsets and rain, sustenance, safety and protection, healing, forgiveness, and salvation. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see His works and wonders.

You can also pray for God’s blessings for others. Numbers 6:24-26 (NLT) demonstrates the kindest and simplest prayer, May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. Pray this prayer over anyone, anytime. Pray to intercede for God’s favor upon family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. Anyone.

This prayer, given to Moses by God, instructs Moses’ brother Aaron, a Levite priest, to pray this blessing over the children of Israel. This simple intercessory prayer requests God’s blessing of protection, presence, grace, and peace upon His people. This prayer characterizes the love of our heavenly Father who can heal hearts, restore relationships, mend conflicts and disagreements, and provide peace through His will.

I challenge you to join me daily in counting our blessings, teaching our children about God’s gifts, and passing His favor to others through prayer.

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.

A Call to Writers

We’re gathering authors for two books in 2023. Is God nudging you right now? See how God might use your story and contact us!

Email kimberly@womenworldleaders.com for more information.

EL ROI…THE GOD WHO SEES ME

Nothing Is Wasted

When I got the phone call on June 11, 2021, that I had invasive ductal carcinoma, my world stopped in its tracks. First, I had to make sure I heard the doctor correctly. Did I really hear the words “breast cancer”? As I stood there in that moment, I was shocked, but I also recalled all the times God had been so faithful to me. My mind went straight to Psalm 42:5-6 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul? Why are you crying the blues? Fix my eyes on God—soon I’ll be praising again. He puts a smile on my face. He’s my God. When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse everything I know of you. (MSG)

I never knew that this would be a part of my story. I had questions rolling through my heart and mind. How was I going to tell my three kids? What was going to happen to me? Then through the anxiousness, God gently reminded me that this did not take Him off guard. He sees the end from the beginning.

After enduring many appointments with different doctors and listening to my options, I settled on a dou ble mastectomy. So there I was at 44 years old, facing a radical surgery I never anticipated or expected. This

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was a pivotal moment in my life. My double mas tectomy was on August 12, 2021. A day that changed me physically, emotional ly, and spiritually.

As I lay in the hospital bed after the surgery, with the lights turned off and my family gone, I felt waves of anxiety. My hubby was still there, but he was trying to sleep. So, I immediately put my Air Pods in and selected my pre-made “Soul Lifter” worship music playlist—determined to soak in God’s presence.

I was awed at the amazing touches, hugs, and tangible ways God had shown up.

God is just so incredible. Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to express how GOOD He really is and how He completely SEES me.

I felt my heartbeat in my now completely flat chest, filled with stitches and all things medical. I realized the scars I would have, and what I had lost hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt I had lost my femininity, and what I felt defined me and gave me value. But God so clearly spoke to me. “What you thought you lost, you gained so much more…. your true value and identity are in me. I don’t see the outside of you. I see the heart of you and the beautiful dust I formed you from. How I value you, MY daughter, is not based on the outside. I see the broken pieces that have made you beautiful. I see your scars, and they are going to minister to so many more people for my glory and my kingdom.”

Yes…tears welled in my eyes. I was sad. I didn’t know what was to come after the surgery. I knew I had to wait on my lymph node results before I would know the next steps. So many unknowns ahead. I am a woman, and I have emotions and feelings.

Yes, there had been grieving for sure, and I knew it would all continue to be a process, but I was quickly reminded that there is purpose in our pain.

Nothing is wasted, and I knew that and had seen that. God is so faithful and has proved this over and over and time after time. How can we EVER doubt His unconditional love and faithfulness to us as His children? He is the name above every name.

Reach for Him. Cling to Him. Look for Him. Fight for Him Love Him Surrender to Him My Jesus is SO worth it!!!!

God is so faithful and has proved this over and over and time after time. How can we EVER doubt His unconditional love and faithfulness to us as His children? He is the name above every name.

Lisa Hathaway is a wife and mother to four amazing children. Her heart is serving and seeing others through the eyes of Jesus. She is passionate about ensuring people feel valued, loved, and know that God has a purpose for their lives. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling from Liberty University.

She is on the leadership team for Women World Leaders and is so excited to bring women into the kingdom of God by loving them right where they are on their journey.

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LIVING A HOLYSTIC LIFE

From Holistic to Holystic: How Focusing on My Health Led M e to God

It was March of 2012, just a few months after having my second child, when I decided to focus on my health with the highest priority. Truthfully, I had no idea where it would lead me. All I thought was that I would change my diet and exercise habits and get healthy. I never realized that it would change my entire life and, most of all, lead me to the relationship I have with God today—over ten years later.

I’ve shared a bit about my health in past articles, but I’ll give you a little summary here so it can all make sense. I’ve had diabetes for about thirty-nine years. That was the main reason I decided to focus on my health at the age of thirty-one after having two children and starting a family of my own. After being given a book that I thought I would skim through and put on a shelf, my life changed drastically. Instead, after reading it one night, I cleaned out every cabinet and pantry in my kitchen.

This health change inspired me to do more and learn more. Two years later, God changed my life by removing me from the corporate world after close to fifteen years. In this time, He opened doors to a whole new world for me—the world of holistic wellness. I had no idea all this would entail. Honestly, I thought I would simply learn more about nutrition, but oh, how wrong I was. This avenue opened my eyes to life. And I thank the Lord daily for where this road has taken me.

I had no idea that working toward a certification in holistic health would change my body, mind, and soul. But there is no doubt that God sure knew what He was doing. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

To help you further understand, holistic means a system of preventive care that considers the whole

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individual, one’s own responsibility for one’s wellbeing, and the total influences—social, psychological, environmental—that affect health, including nutrition, exercise, and mental relaxation.

Once I became aware of the concept of holistic health, it all started to make sense that my spirituality would affect my health and healing. And then it all naturally began to happen. It didn’t take work; my soul just naturally craved more time with God. And I began to see healing happen that I never expected.

As I began to consume only whole foods, I felt myself becoming closer to God. As I prepared amazing plates of food, my spirituality exponentially increased. I had no idea that the food I ate could bring me closer to the Lord.

And it only got better from there. As I continued with this holistic lifestyle—using natural products, spending much more time in nature, and working on my innerself—my relationship with God went from barely existent to the most loving relationship I could know.

After this realization, I noticed my new lifestyle was more holystic, with a y and not an i. Without Jesus, we cannot heal. And Jesus is holy, with a y. With the help of my 10-year-old son, Mason, we created an acronym for Holystic.

H onor: Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)

O bey: “Walk in obedience to all that the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” (Deuteronomy 5:33 NIV)

L ove: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these”. (Mark 12:30-31 NIV)

Y oke: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)

S urrender: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)

T ransform: 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. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

I nhale: And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22 ESV)

C ontemplate: Study this book of instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8 NLT)

God cares about each of us spiritually, emotionally, and physically. If you are looking for a more intimate relationship with Jesus, study the acronym above and let God lead you to a healthy, holystic life.

Melissa is a wife and mom of tween and teen boys who are a huge inspiration in her life. She is a best-selling author and Hormone Health Coach who helps women infuse balance into their lives so they can balance their 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

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FOLLOWING THE SON

The Rock

Bonita Springs, Florida

There I was, just strolling with my husband along the quiet tip of the beach in Bonita Springs, Florida. The sand squished between my toes, and the water splashed up my ankles as we waited for the sunset. We rounded the bend, and my husband waded out into the ocean while I stood near the large rocks.

Deuteronomy 32:4 says, He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (NIV)

A man sitting on the rocks slurred his words as he conversed on the phone. Moments later, he mumbled something in my direction. Small talk about sharks. His mannerisms told me he had been drinking.

When he continued, I drew in a little closer.

“I lost my son today.”

“What?!” I didn’t try to hide my surprise.

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PHOTO

“My son OD’d [overdosed]. We lost him today.”

My heart dropped, and I moved in closer.

He spoke into his cell phone. “I gotta go.”

Not realizing he was still on the line, I gave a wave. “You don’t have to hang up.”

He ended his call, and our conversation continued.

He was a dad of four children. The one who passed had been a police officer. I kept an eye on the sunset, yet trying to be available. He talked openly, and I learned a lot about him in that short period of time.

I can’t seem to get the man, our conversation, his family, or their loss off my mind. It’s not natural to bury a child. That must be one of the worst experiences in life.

“I don’t know why I told you all that,” he lamented. “That’s ok; people tend to do that with me.” I smiled.

His ringing phone abruptly ended our conversation.

Our encounter weighs on my heart. I can’t seem to get the man, our conversation, his family, or their loss off my mind. It’s not natural to bury a child. That must be one of the worst experiences in life.

How do people/parents get through it? How does life go on? There is only one way.

I’m trusting and praying God had me there at the right time. For a purpose.

Rocks are often referred to as a place of refuge, a place to escape the tumultuous hardships of the earth. Psalm 71:3 says, Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. (NIV)

1 Samuel 2:2 says, There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. (NIV)

Psalm 62:2 says, He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. (NIV)

Where do you turn during difficult times? Go to The Rock. He knows the pain and He is The Way. Psalm 61:1-2 says, Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (NASB)

Where do you turn during difficult times? Go to The Rock. He knows the pain and He is The Way.

Michele, a #1 best selling author, resides in Jupiter, Florida, with her husband. They own and operate GoLifeSavers.com where Michele has taught CPR classes since 2011 as the lead instructor.

Michele holds a master’s degree in education, and serves on the leadership development team in Women World Leaders. She loves the Son/sun, family, paddle boarding, travel, and encouraging others.

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LEAVING A GODLY LEGACY

The Legacy of Holy Talk

Holy talk. What comes to mind when you read those two words? Holy talk. To me, words like piety, purity, priestliness, sacredness, heaven, or talk about the Bible come to mind.

I am privileged in my later life to attend online courses at Regent University. I might have mentioned that this is my first attempt at college life. “No doubt my last, so I better get it right,” she said, laughing hysterically.

But I realize I am advantaged in taking classes in my golden years. It affords me more time to contemplate things like the meaning of “holy talk” and why it is essential. So let me share what holy talk is (it is not the words that came to my mind) and why it is a godly legacy to leave.

The study materials in one of my classes included a video featuring Paul Tripp, pastor and award-winning author. His topic at the Desiring God 2008 National Conference was The Power of Words and the Wonder of God. In notes taken from the conference, his profound view on talk still stirs my heart. He said, “You. Talk. Every day of our lives and every relationship is filled with talk. Words are God’s idea and they belong to Him. So when you hear the word ‘talk,’ you ought to hear something that is high and holy and important. Let us never regard talk as something that doesn’t matter.”

We can look no further than the Bible to know that his statement carries the weight of grave value to God. For example, 1 Peter 3:10 says, Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. (NIV) How often have we believers slipped and said something derogatory about someone? Or told half-truths to perhaps put ourselves in a better light? Sadly, I am guilty as charged! Yes, even as a believer, I catch myself unpleasantly falling into this toxic talk.

mainly in the flesh until we see Him face to face. His ears are always in tune with the condition of our hearts and the words on our lips. Keeping in step with the Spirit, then, may the meditation of our hearts and the comments on our lips be that of growing Christfollowers.

In carpentry, the adage goes measure twice, cut once. What if we applied that notion to everyday conversations? Think twice. Speak once. It might be helpful to ask: Is my “talk”

• Uplifting and encouraging?

Leaving a legacy of holy talk–clean, helpful, cheerful, selfless, and God-honoring talk–is a worthy goal for all Christians. We are so blessed to have received forgiveness and redemption while we were yet sinners.

Another verse that comes to mind (and I bet yours, too) is the wildfire verse. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. (James 3:6 NIV) We know that gossip is a sin, and yet it is easy to say, for example, “We need to pray for Suzy Soandso. She and her husband are in trouble.” And whoops, (beginning with good intentions) we’ve started a fire, corrupting our reputation and that of others.

Some of our talk reflects what is in our hearts for ourselves. I need to be seen. I need to be heard. I want this, or I want that. My kingdom come. My will be done. And before we know it, others put earplugs in to drown out our impoverished talk.

Leaving a legacy of holy talk–clean, helpful, cheerful, selfless, and God-honoring talk–is a worthy goal for all Christians. We are so blessed to have received forgiveness and redemption while we were yet sinners. However, God knows that we will operate

• Humble and kind?

• Necessary and not gossip?

• Thoughtful and positive?

• God-worthy and worthy of repeating?

In essence, holy talk is talk that is gracious and pleasant, important and holy. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:6 NIV)

If the saying “practice makes perfect” is true, perhaps if we call on the Holy Spirit, the practice of holy talk will be perfected in us. Since, after all, “Words are God’s idea, and they belong to Him.”

Kathleen Barrett is a 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 in her church’s Senior Legacy Group. Tending a modest garden and preparing Sunday afternoon feasts for her multi-cultural family brings her joy. Visit her website, https://kathybarrettwrites.com/, or contact her by email at kathybarrett222@yahoo.com.

PRAYERS FOR THE SONS OF THE KING

I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

Psalm 81:10 (ESV)

Mighty God, our deliverer, our redeemer, our restoration, and our peace, thank you for being our place of refuge. From the inception of time and before the foundations of the world, You have continued to show the might of Your hand and deliver us from our own ungodly counsel. Oh God, You have continued to uphold Your sons with the power of Your right hand. Father God, You have, without fail, been a constant source of provision. Your sons have never gone without because You have always strengthened, empowered, embraced, and esteemed them.

God, Your sons are crying out to You! Their mouths are open, and they are ready to receive the fresh manna from heaven. Hear the petitions of their hearts and feel the steadfastness that is within their souls. Thank You for subduing the paths of the enemies that sought to rise up against Your sons so that they can stand against every path of infirmity, unfaithfulness, and rottenness. Thank You for breathing life into the bones of Your sonship so that they can rise in the hour at hand and march forth in the new dawning of life for their homes and communities.

Righteous God, Your sons are thankful that You did not turn Your back on them as their sins would deserve, but instead, You have delivered them over towards the land that is overflowing with milk and honey. Your sons will never thirst nor hunger again, and the fruit of their hands will prosper towards that which it has been sent. The seeds of life from the very core of the fruit have been planted, and now Your sons are waiting on the harvest. The mouths of Your sons are open, and they are ready to eat from the fruit of the land and drink from the rivers of living water. Never again will Your sons lurk in the background of unrighteousness, but the strength and the armor of the Lord will prevail in the matchless name of Jesus.

Amen.

Dr. Jia Conway

This world needs more men to step up, step out, and be Men of Honor. We need men who will boldly claim their stance as warriors for their family, community, faith, and country.

Over twenty authors in this book share their accounts of God’s provision, care, and power as they proclaim His Word. Through these real-life stories, may the Holy Spirit impact your heart and the hearts of men around the world, giving life-sustaining hope and encouragement.

As the enemy does his best to take men out and off their mission, the war he instigates rages on within men’s lives. Wherever you may be on your journey, be assured you can be a victorious overcomer in whatever situation life brings your way.

God is awakening warriors to step up and be heard as they live with valiant and courageous faith. With its stories and teachings, United Men of Honor: Overcoming Adversity Through Faith will help you armor up, become fit to fight, and move forward with what it takes to be an honorable leader.

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POWER POINTS: GOD AT WORK THROUGH WOMEN LEADERS YESTERDAY AND TODAY

“The world is God’s big, beautiful jigsaw puzzle. Each person is a unique piece. I am the only piece of me. Nobody wins if I take my life—it is an injustice to me, to God, and the world if I remove myself from the puzzle. God’s masterpiece will be incomplete.” – Heather Funk Palacios

Even as a young girl, Heather struggled with suicidal thoughts. In elementary school, she was mercilessly bullied. One day she came to class and found on her desk a paper entitled, Why We Hate Heather Funk. All her classmates wrote out their reasons for hating her and signed their names. This was just one example of the venom she encountered daily, which left her feeling lonely and hopeless. Finally, she wrote a letter to her grandparents telling them she wanted to die.

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Even though she grew up in church, God did not seem relevant to Heather’s ongoing struggles. By the time she was a teenager, she decided she wanted nothing more to do with God and rebelled against Him in every way possible. But even though Heather gave up on God, He did not give up on her. God brought along a group of guys who happened to be on the soccer team at a nearby Christian college. Because she had a crush on one of them, Heather scrapped her plans to go to a state university and applied to their school. Because she knew the right words to say, she got accepted to the college, although she had no intention whatsoever of changing her lifestyle or having anything to do with God or Jesus. But little by little, because of the consistent teaching and love shown to her by the campus community, God began to chip away at Heather’s defenses. By the end of her senior year, she told God she was ready to stop wandering around Him and began to start walking with Him.

By the time she was a teenager, she decided she wanted nothing more to do with God and rebelled against Him in every way possible. But even though Heather gave up on God, He did not give up on her.

After graduation, Heather moved to south Florida and found her way to a church singles’ group led by a “gorgeous Cuban,” Raul Palacios. By 2000, Heather and Raul were celebrating their one-year marriage anniversary and Raul was contemplating going into ministry full-time. Even though she was walking with Jesus, she began to listen to the enemy’s voice telling her she wasn’t good enough to be a pastor’s wife and that her husband would be better off without her. So in a public parking lot, Heather attempted suicide in front of her husband. Unable to stop her, Raul called 911 and six first responders fought to wrestle her to the ground. Heather ended up isolated in the psychiatric hospital on suicide watch. This served as

a wake-up call, alerting Heather to the fact that she needed to develop a serious battle plan to deal with her temptation to commit suicide.

Now, the three pillars of her spiritual warfare strategy are Scripture, Support, and Significance. She studies the Bible diligently seeking out everything it says about life. She jots down in a little notebook verses such as:

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your offspring may live. (Deuteronomy 30:19 ESV)

Jesus said you will see me, and because I live and you will live. (John 14:19 paraphrased)

I will not die but live and will proclaim what the Lord has done. (from Psalm 119:17)

Heather carries this notebook with her everywhere as a spiritual EpiPen. Whenever the devil bombards her with negative thoughts that if left unchecked could lead to suicidal ones, Heather grabs her notebook and reads verses aloud to drown out Satan’s voice.

Heather finds support through regular Christian counseling and church fellowship. Over the past twenty-plus years, Heather has found her significance through learning who she is in Christ. The jigsaw puzzle analogy reminds her that without her unique, crazy contributions something special would be missing in God’s work in the world.

But there are still times when this strategy does not work as planned. During the 2020 lockdown, the support pillar collapsed and the suicidal thoughts came rushing back. God could only reach Heather at her gut level with the prompt to “practice what you preach”. When counseling others in this situation, Heather always tells people, “Call someone, call someone, call someone.” Consequently, she humbled herself and reached out to a suicide hotline.

Although still struggling, today Heather Palacios is the founder and president of WONDHERFUL, a non-profit dedicated to saving the lives of those who are struggling through mental crises. (See https://wondherful.com/)

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A BEAUTIFUL MESS

If you are like me, you probably use your GPS in your car or on your phone to help you find an address when heading to an unfamiliar location. Many times, out of nowhere, I’ll hear the voice tell me, “Rerouting, rerouting.” This is how I have felt over the past 9 years. Redirected on a yearly, sometimes weekly basis.

Homeschooling doesn’t have a perfect plan or road map for the journey. There is no “right way” or “wrong way.” There are thousands of books, vlogs, blogs, websites, and other helpful social media aids about the topic of homeschooling, but sometimes it can just seem, well, overwhelming.

My oldest is about to go into high school. It is hard to believe we have made it this far. It is also mindblowing how many more options are available to homeschooling families now than when we started our journey. Thankfully, it has become easier and more common to choose the path of homeschooling over the last decade.

As you venture out as a new homeschooling family or are looking for direction on a new year and are inundated with a plethora of options, just remember, that ‘simple is better.’ Don’t over-complicate the learning process. Don’t feel the need to replicate a full day’s worth of school activities. Stop. Breathe, pray, then consider your family. What are your routines?

How and when do you learn best? Is early morning your family’s prime time, or does it take everyone some time to get moving? Are you a family that enjoys cuddling up and reading lots of books, or is your learning style more hands-on and active? Are there working parents’ schedules to keep in mind when planning out the day? A perfect fit for your friend’s family may be a horrible fit for yours. That’s the beauty of homeschooling; we get the benefit of fitting the schedules, learning styles, curriculums, and even the time of day that fit your family best.

Over the years, I have discovered the best learning isn’t the scheduled, perfect classroom setting experience, but finding out how and where each of my children learns best and allowing them the freedom to flourish in their learning styles at their prime of the day. Find ways to make this journey memorable and hands-on. Explore all your local education areas like zoos, nature centers, science centers, and libraries. Take advantage of the different businesses and locations that offer homeschool classes. Most importantly, treasure the time together. Make memories your children will talk about for a lifetime. Remember, you only get this one chance to raise them up in the way they should go. The days are long and the years are short. Enjoy the journey.

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COFFEE CHATS

God Will Use a Willing Vessel

So, I’ve been writing for Voice of Truth for a few years now. This magazine has changed my life. I’ve never believed I was a writer—or even thought I was smart enough or educated enough to write. But all God wants you to do is be a willing vessel.

In 2005 I felt God was nudging me to write. I felt like I was supposed to write a book of my story. Then He gave me a second book I was to write, See What Love Can Do. He had even given me the name which would include a chapter of my story. It would be a collection of authors who shared what God’s love had done in their lives. But I just didn’t have the confidence. I would bring it up and share it with others, and they would say, “You should do it.” I felt like sharing a chapter of my life would be easier than writing a book. I guess God understood my fears.

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Then in 2011, God connected me with a woman writing a book called The Hidden Person Of The Heart: Discovering What God Says About and to Women Through the Scriptures. I didn’t know this woman, but she was a pastor’s wife in the association we were members of. She asked if I would write a chapter in her book, which would be a compilation of chapters written by pastors’ wives. I was surprised she had asked me to be one of the writers since I’m not a writer and didn’t know her. God will use a willing vessel.

Since the book was written by all pastors’ wives, I thought maybe I could do it. God reminded me that He had wanted me to write back in 2005, and I still hadn’t done it. If I’m honest, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go forward if the other authors weren’t all pastors’ wives. I was willing, but I wasn’t leaning on God. I was only doing it because I felt like there might be others who were unqualified writers like me. The other thing about this book was they told me exactly what they wanted me to write about— Herodias from the Bible. Not an easy topic, but one I didn’t have to come up with myself. I accomplished that chapter, and then I never wrote again. Although it did stir my heart to write, I pushed down that feeling—too scared to write on my own.

So, another 11 years went by with me being disobedient to God, and even though He would bring it back to mind and put it in my heart, I just didn’t believe I could do it. So I never tried again.

Then I was introduced to Kimberly Hobbs. She was such a huge encouragement to me. Talking to her, I felt like I could do anything. She offered me the opportunity to write for the Voice of Truth magazine. In my head, I said, “No, I can’t.”

But immediately, I heard God say, “Yes, you can.”

So, before I could say no, “Yes” flew out of my mouth. And since my first article, I knew I was finally being obedient to what God called me to do, and He built my confidence. I still don’t feel I’m a writer. I don’t use eloquent words; I just write like I talk. But I do know that I have God’s amazing love stories to tell. The reason I write is that I believe God wants me to. I want my writing to help, encourage, and show others that if I can do it, anyone can. You just need to be a willing vessel.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

So, before I could say no, “Yes” flew out of my mouth. And since my first article, I knew I was finally being obedient to what God called me to do, and He built my confidence. I still don’t feel I’m a writer. I don’t use eloquent words; I just write like I talk. But I do know that I have God’s amazing love stories to tell.

I love sharing the books and magazines with others. I have seen God move through the stories the beautiful ladies have contributed to these magazines and books. I have experienced the doors they have opened, leading to conversations that always come back to God.

Since beginning to write for Voice of Truth, I have now written in two other Woman World Leaders’ books. Victories: Claiming Freedom in Christ became a number #1 best seller; and Surrendered: Yielded With Purpose will be released before you read this. The difference in my writing is that now I’m completely dependent on God for what I will write.

I love sharing the books and magazines with others. I have seen God move through the stories the beautiful ladies have contributed to these magazines and books. I have experienced the doors they have opened, leading to conversations that always come back to God. The people I give them to are encouraged and strengthened by the stories, and they tell me they love reading mine. It still feels insane to me that I could impact anyone through my writing. There is so much more I could share, but I want to tell you one story before I run out of space.

So, my last group of magazines was lost. I put several in my coffee shop because it is a great way to get them in people’s hands. It makes my heart happy to see women drinking coffee and reading the magazine. When my box of magazines got lost, I was heartbroken. I had been out of town, and when I returned, they had not arrived at my house. I called the post office, asked neighbors, and nothing. Kimberly checked with the printer, and they said they were delivered. But I never received them.

I haven’t shared this next part with Kimberly yet, because I wanted to surprise her as she reads this. So, the box of magazines had been lost for a few months. One day, I got a knock on the door, and the postman was standing there. He had a box in his hands. He said the box had been recovered; it had been delivered to the wrong address in another town. I was shocked to see it was the magazines! I truly thought I’d never see them. I was so excited. I laid several out on my coffee table to admire them and think about who I would give them to. I knew some would go to the coffee shop, and some would go to certain ladies I wanted to encourage.

That day, a lady I hadn’t met arrived to clean my house. I had been struggling to keep up with the cleaning as I’d broken my wrist in two places, and my husband surprised me by hiring her. I was so thankful to Carl because I would never ask him or tell him I needed help, but he knew. So, this lady came into my house and started cleaning. The only conversation we had was about the things I needed to have done.

When she got to the coffee table, she noticed the magazines. I then shared about Voice of Truth and Women World Leaders. I told her I was an author in the magazine. She started looking through it,

COFFEE CHATS

and I told her she could have one. Then I noticed she had a huge sunflower tattooed on her arm. I said, “I love your tattoo. Sunflowers are my favorite. I have a safehouse for children rescued out of the sex trade called The Sunflower House.”

She looked up from the magazine and said, “What did you just say?”

I repeated what I had said, and tears started forming in her eyes. I then said, “I’m also a survivor and have a ministry that fights human trafficking.”

She then shared that she also was a survivor and said this was a divine appointment. She said that on the way to my house, she had cried out to God, asking Him to help her.

She then shared that she also was a survivor and said this was a divine appointment. She said that on the way to my house, she had cried out to God, asking Him to help her. She said she was struggling and needed someone who would understand what she had been through, and God sent her straight to my house. Wow, our God is an amazing God. Those magazines came at the exact time they needed to be there.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8 NIV)

The door was opened because of this beautiful Godordained magazine. I am now mentoring her, and my husband is mentoring her husband. Kimberly, Julie, and all the others who help with Woman World Leaders, I hope you see the lives that are touched from your obedience. God has used this magazine in my life and many others to touch, open doors, and give him every bit of the glory.

In October, I finally self-published my book, See What Love Can Do, all to the glory of God, Woman World Leaders, and my friend Heather who said, “It’s time.”

Women World Leaders is honored in my book because they opened the door, encouraged me, and led me to write and be obedient to all God has for me.

I know the book of my life story isn’t far behind. Thank you, Kimberly, Julie, and Women World Leaders, for giving me the push I needed, and thank you, Jesus, for your love and grace.

God will use a willing vessel. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NIV)

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.

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Stomp out human traffickingtogether we can

What would it look like if Women World Leaders partnered with a local coffee shop in Sanford, Florida to empower lives with purpose? For starters, it would look like a bag of freshly roasted, washed Costa Rican beans and natural Ethiopian beans blended to perfection sitting on your kitchen counter. With notes of honey, vanilla, milk chocolate, and cocoa, you can’t go wrong.

We rejoice in God merging our missions together, partnering to serve Him - from empowering women to rescuing many from the plights of human trafficking. You can join our hearts and hands by purchasing a bag of coffee. All the proceeds will be shared between Women World Leaders & Love Missions.

Palate Coffee Brewery is blessed to have won taste quality awards; always roasted in His love, to perfection.

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

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. info@womenworldleaders.com

MEET DEBRA J. KENNEDY FROM OHIO

Hope for the Future with Love in the Present

As a school leader, my goal has always been to paint a vision for the future of learning. In the Bible, Zechariah knew how to describe vivid pictures in the minds of the people while giving them a purpose for rebuilding the temple. My core values are similar to that of Zechariah’s in regards to spreading hope by working on myself first and then disseminating that hope to loved ones around me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV)

A few years back, my husband was going through some mental health issues and just took a trip down the river without telling anyone. When I came home from work that afternoon, I did not think anything about his whereabouts until the afternoon became the evening. I began calling around to find that he had never shown up for work, and no family member had heard from him. This led to a two-day and night search for him. The only information I had was that a kayak and his truck were missing. His cell phone, wallet, and personal belongings were all at home. After searching all our usual river drop spots, his truck was finally located in a usual kayak parking spot. An area man informed me that he had talked to my husband the previous day and he said he was taking a trip to clear his mind. At this point, I had no alternative but to inform authorities, begin praying, and then set out to place friends on different river take-out spots to hopefully locate my husband.

When I arrived at the lookout spot, it was a rural wooded lot about an hour away from my home, with no houses in sight. As I started to walk toward the river, two dogs with leashes came bounding toward me, wrapping my legs with their leashes. A man came through the woods with a sling on his arm, shouting that the dogs would not hurt me. I asked the man if he had seen a kayaker in the water as I told him about the disappearance of my husband. At this point, he asked me to take a walk with him. Normally, I would not go into the woods with a stranger, but I was compelled to go with this person. As we walked, he began to talk, and I realized that this was no ordinary man. He began telling me stories of

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people in the Bible, and other metaphors that I knew could only be God’s way of reaching out to me. His story that I will always remember is that of an airplane ride. As the flight attendants lead the passengers through the safety directions, they inform them that in an event of cabin pressure loss, an oxygen mask will fall from the ceiling. The passengers are instructed to pull the mask over their faces before helping someone beside them. This is a life lesson in caring for yourself first so you can take care of the people you love.

After that story, my cell phone rang, bringing news that my husband was at the next stop and I needed to go there. As I was expressing my goodbyes and gratitude to this stranger, he asked me to please go home and rest and allow my husband to finish his venture. I headed to meet my husband and my fear turned to anger, but as I drove, I began thinking about the kind stranger’s stories and decided I needed to heed his advice. Upon arriving at the spot, I was met by a family member who told me that he was going to drag my husband out of the water and lay into him for scaring everyone. I turned to him and told him that I thought it was best if we just talk to him about keeping his cell phone close, letting us know about his adventure, and working out details for his exit from the water. A calmness fell over me as I hugged my husband and worked out the details before I drove home to take care of myself.

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. (Psalm 91:11 NIV)

From that experience, I realized that I needed to figure out ways to take care of myself on a daily basis. That particular stranger was my angel telling me that to live, lead, and serve I must practice self-care. Today my current routine includes spending time in the morning with daily devotions and prayer. After I read different study guides, I turn to the Voice of Truth to read and reflect upon one or two articles each day. This actually makes my magazine last longer as I savor the stories and apply them to my life or someone that I feel will benefit from another person’s story.

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)

Recently, our family has said goodbye to six father figures from illnesses, leaving behind grieving widows trying to find their way in this world without their companions. Many of

these brave women were also caretakers who spent their days and nights ensuring their spouses had the best life possible, especially during their last days. With the help of Voice of Truth and Women World Leaders, I have been able to put the books Tears of Triumph and Courageous Step of Faith into their hands as gifts. My magazine looks like an absolute mess by the end of the month because I actually tear out the articles and hand them out when I see a person who may need the article more than I do at that moment.

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4 NIV)

As a leader, I am still learning, seeking nuggets of love in this world, continuing to serve people, and giving back in small ways. My own father is now 84 years old and in poor health. My new role is as a caretaker, even while trying to work full-time and still enjoying my immediate family of husband and nine grandchildren. My eyes are getting a glimpse into the real heroes known as caretakers. I am learning what it takes to truly love while embracing the emotions and truth that come with expecting the unexpected. I have also seen evidence of when a person truly knows Christ and knows that earth is not their eternal home, but better things are waiting on the other side.

Debra J. Kennedy

Co-Author: Student-Owned Learning: It’s more than the teaching; it’s about the learning Superintendent Quaker Academies in Ohio

Email: DebKennedy2@gmail.com

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VOICE OF TRUTH STORIES

I grew up in a very rural area where we had no internet, libraries, or magazines. And I was an avid reader. We did have a bookmobile that came to the elementary school once a month. I would check out stacks of books to read.

Years later, when magazines became popular, I had several subscriptions. I remember getting Reader’s Digest and loving every story. I had other magazine subscriptions— some good and some a waste of time and money. Then later, I began receiving Southern Living. I was totally engulfed in that lifestyle. In fact, we built a Southern Living house. I kept each copy of my magazines. Occasionally, I would have to clean them out. Of course, times have changed. Now we have many magazines and books available. But I am still old school enough that I love to have hard copies at my fingertips.

I am fairly new to Women World Leaders. When I heard that they publish a magazine, I was thrilled. In fact, a friend of mine, Lillian Cucuzza, gave me a subscription to the magazine Voice of Truth. I love getting them in the mail and can’t wait to read them. But I am not keeping each issue, instead, I am giving them away after I read them. However, I still had an extra copy of the Third Quarter 2022 edition. I don’t know why I kept it, but I did.

My husband is a retired pastor; he is currently an interim pastor at a church about 125 miles from our home. So we live part-time in a motor home that we park on the church property. When we travel, I take things to read to pass

the time, and on this last trip, I still had my Third Quarter 2022 copy of Voice of Truth in my travel bag.

Early one Sunday morning, there was a knock on our motor home door. I was still in the back getting dressed for church. My husband opened the door to a very distraught lady who was a member of the church. She began sharing with my husband something that had happened years ago in her family that she was still dealing with. She began to pour her heart out. She just could not forgive an individual who had long been dead. She knew that in order to move forward spiritually, she had to find forgiveness for this individual.

I stayed in the bedroom, not wanting to interrupt but listening to every word. My husband gave her scripture, counseled her, and prayed with her. Then I began to feel a tug at my heart. I had my copy of Voice of Truth in the closet. I knew that I had to give it to her. So, I got it out of the closet and went to where she was sitting. I began encouraging her and reiterated what my husband had shared with her. I also told her that I had a magazine I knew the Lord wanted her to have. She took the magazine and began to relax. When she left us, she had such a calm demeanor—so different than when she arrived. I told her to call me, but I never heard from her all week. I have found that this is quite often the case when someone comes to us distraught. They sometimes need a chance to process what has happened.

We prayed for her all week. Then, this past Sunday, she came to me at church and told me how much better she was feeling. She was still dealing with the forgiveness issue but felt she was finally on the right path. Then she began to share with me some of the articles she had read in the magazine. She knew they were just what she needed to hear. This has been one of those WOW moments— those times when you can so clearly see the hand of God. For me, it is also a reminder to be prepared for whatever or whoever God sends in your path. I have also been reminded to share my copies of Voice of Truth with others.

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ELAINE NASWORTHY FROM WESLEY CHAPEL, FLORIDA

MEET

LINDSEY SULLIVAN FROM SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

for Voice of Truth. What began as a simple phone call with Kimberly Hobbs as we shared our hearts has turned into a mighty wave of release for me as I sit down with the Lord to write for each edition. With every story shared in this magazine, a layer of hope is breathed out from and onto women all across the globe. Simply opening each edition and beholding the magnificent beauty of the words, photos, and designs woven together is like stepping into a wellspring of hope and tasting the goodness God promises to us as His children.

These are not just stories—they are the lives of real women who have encountered the living God and can’t help but share what He has done in and through them with the whole world. They are not words cheaply written; they are the result of costly prayers poured onto the Lord’s feet in moments that perhaps only He was there to witness. They are the fruits of deep, daily surrender. They are the evidence of Christ, in whom we live and breathe and have our being (Acts 17:28).

My name is Lindsey Sullivan, and I am the author of the column Rekindle: Keeping First Love Alive. My prayer for you is that you are deeply blessed and ministered to through the writings and creative expressions in this beautiful magazine.

If I have learned anything at all in my 23 years of life, it is that Jesus Christ is the lover of my soul! And can I tell you something? He wants to be the lover of your soul, too. He is absolutely, positively in love with you. Before you were even born, He created your inmost being and set His breath inside your lungs and His heartbeat in your chest to give you life (Psalm 139).

I write this to you with the utmost sincerity because I have found it to be true myself! My heart was gripped by the love of Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord when I was 16 years old. The fact that I am still walking with the Lord today is evidence of His faithfulness and lovingkindness. If you have ever questioned the Father’s love for you personally, I’m here to write to you today—He really is that good!

My life’s heart cry is to know Jesus Christ intimately and to lead others to His presence so that they might know Him intimately as well. You may recognize this thread of longing for intimacy with the Beloved Christ in my column

I pray, dear sister reading this, that you are touched by the love of the Father today. I pray you are so overcome by His intimate love for YOU that you can’t help but pour your heart out to Him and give Him your everything, for He is the only one found worthy!

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Hello dear readers!
VOICE OF TRUTH STORIES

MEET ANNIE FROM NORTH CAROLINA

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MEET RUTH CONLEY

FROM ASHBURN, VIRGINIA

I am happy that I get to share my story with this wonderful ministry. My name is Ruth Conley and I live in Ashburn Virginia with my husband Bob. I’ve raised three sons and I have seven beautiful grandchildren. I was introduced to Women World Leaders by my granddaughter, Annalise McCall. Annalise shared an article that she wrote for the magazine not too long ago. I have been incredibly proud of Annalise and her mother, Connie VanHorn. I’ve witnessed Connie take huge steps of faith in her life and build so much confidence through her work with this ministry. I’ve known Connie for over twenty years and she’s grown so much over the years. This ministry, Women World Leaders has changed her life and I’m confident that it will change my granddaughters as well.

I enjoy following along with everything that is going on. I am proud of their accomplishments and where God is leading in their lives.

In volunteering my story, I trust, and know that I can share to others what I have witnessed. What I have done for years is trusting the name of Jesus that continues to sustain me now, through difficult times. Yes, trusting His name is believing that what He says about His character is true, allowing me to rest in Him. My parents taught me early on to have faith and to be a good person that works hard. I hope that I have passed that down to my children, grandchildren and for generations to come. Thank you Women World Leaders for this beautiful ministry that is changing lives for my family and for the entire world.

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VOICE OF TRUTH STORIES

Global Connections

ARISE & SHINE FOR YOUR LIGHT HAS COME

Too many times, we ask ourselves, “Do I have a light? Do I shine amidst this darkness that seems to be covering ev ery part of the globe?” Years ago, I heard someone calling my name to be a light in the darkness.

I was called by the audible voice of God at the early age of nine. I heard my name being called “H-o-l-l-y.” It re verberated like a deep cadence over the hills and valleys. “H-o-l-l-y,” the voice came again, even louder than be fore. “H-o-l-l-y,” one last time. I took note. Was it God? Who was this One who was calling me? I was all alone amidst the caragana trees, sitting in the tall green grass. There was only a very slight breeze in the trees. All had been almost silent other than the voice that seemed to want my answer. As I sat there pondering, somehow I knew this was God’s voice calling me.

I remember hearing a story in the Bible about the little boy, Samuel, who used to sit by the ark of the covenant in the temple; he heard God call his name as well. After some confusion, he, too, had said, “Here I am, Lord.”

Isaiah in the Bible also heard the voice of God and an swered, “Here am I, Lord, send me!”

From the time I was a little girl, my Lord God and I had many conversations. He would speak to me deep inside, in my spirit, and I would talk to Him about everything. I talk ed to Him as I played, worked on the farm in the gardens picking weeds for the animals, or rode my bicycle down the dusty prairie roads. We had a wonderful relationship, He and I.

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THIS ARTICLE COMES TO YOU FROM BRITISH COLUMBIA

But the devil also knew I had been called and did not want me to answer that call from God. No, no, no! He wanted to stop me in my tracks, so he set up many roadblocks for me along the way. People came along to sexually molest me, others to rape me, and still others to beat me up as they tried to take the life from me. I ran and ran. I ran away from God because I felt He didn’t protect me and that He had betrayed me and no longer understood me. I ran into a world of motorcycles, bikers, and abuse; into great sin; into a life of sex, drugs, rock and roll, parties, and rebellion. I kept running, trying to escape the pain that tormented me. I took drugs to numb the pain. Who would cherish and protect me? No one. I found only pain and anguish.

Yet through much trauma, hurt, and pain, I realized all I seemed to do was hurt myself and others. Until one day, having become suicidal, I heard the sound of His voice in His Word, “Come to ME all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28 NIV) I heard Him say, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person.” (Revelation 3:20 NIV) I finally brought my huge load of unforgiveness, guilt, depression, fear, shame, pain, and suffering to Jesus. I laid it all at His feet and ac cepted Him as my LORD! There is a difference between knowing Him as God and allowing Him to be Lord. I asked Holy Spirit to fill me.

to heal the sick, to cast out devils, to set the captives free, to proclaim the year of jubilee and restoration! I shared my many supernatural visions and encounters with God and with His angels. Yes, this was an exciting adventure!

Because of all the years of suffering, it took years of healing and deliverance to bring me back around to finally allow HIS LIGHT to push out all the darkness of my soul.

From speaking about my healing and transformation all across the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, and then outwards to different parts of Canada and the United States, then on into many cities in Mexico, parts of Eu rope, and Western Samoa, as I travelled I brought the light of Jesus and shared how He is the only One who can heal a person and set them free. I brought His love through hugs, laughter, tears, preaching, teaching, and feeding programs, and through worship and flagging. I laid hands on the sick, the deaf, the wounded, and the broken—and I watched them recover. I spoke to tumours in the name of Jesus and felt them dissolve under my hands. There is nothing like allowing HIS light to shine!

I still teach, preach, and do healing and deliverance in the mighty name of Jesus. I bring the fire of God on the scene. I work with many clients to set them free. I hold groups to teach about the healing love of God, about His kingdom, about angels, and how to soak in the presence of God to receive revelation, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and how to pray and intercede. I bring others into the courts of heaven so they, too, can be healed.

Now, because of all the years of suffering, it took years of healing and deliverance to bring me back around to finally allow HIS LIGHT to push out all the darkness of my soul and allow HIM to shine through me to touch a dark, bro ken world.

As I healed, God showed me my call once again: to bring hope and encouragement, to preach the gospel, to teach,

My ministry is called Freedom to Soar! Truly God arises in me to shine for His glory, and I can never thank Him enough. The only thing I can do is one day lay any “crowns” I have received at Jesus’ feet and thank Him that He al lows me to serve by bringing His Light to pierce through the darkness so others can shine too.

Ellie MacGraw

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GLOBAL CONNECTIONS

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.

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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.

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