“When God Calls the Heart at Christmas”—Christmas Lights

by Heartie Michelle S. Cox in Leading Hearts magazine

The snow began falling on December 17. It was beautiful as it covered everything in a blanket of pristine white. The trees in the woods around our house looked as if God had sprinkled powdered sugar on them.

Yes, it was gorgeous, but the flakes continued to fall … and fall … and fall. The wet snow began to weigh down the branches of the trees, and soon loud cracks were heard as limbs started snapping.

We’d been through this before, so we knew there was a good chance that we’d be without power before too long. We quickly began our snowstorm prep, gathering lanterns and candles, and carrying firewood in so it would be dry. Sure enough, just as we finished our preparations, the power clicked off, and the cheery lights on our Christmas tree went dark.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner plus Easy Recipe for Chicken Spaghetti

by Penelope Carlevato @teatimepen in Leading Hearts magazine

Everything was ready for our family Christmas dinner. The dining room table was set, the roast in the oven and the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the living room. Everyone was to arrive in a few minutes. Then my cell phone chimed — a new text. The message was from my crazy uncle who was on his way. He wasn’t invited, because he always caused problems. What should I do? Set another place?

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Our Christmas Gift to you—A brand new issue of Leading Hearts!

Our Christmas Gift to you—A brand new issue of Leading Hearts magazine to inspire you to embrace the new year with a new mindset. You’ve done a lot of growing in 2018, but what are those things you need to leave behind to thrive in the year to come? Get insight from Jennifer Tracy, Kim Walker-Smith and Robin Luftig. Overcome Hurtful words with Janell Rardon and hear the real-life story of Russ and Tori Taff—behind the scenes through his struggle with alcoholism. The season is tied up with extra tinsel with stories of Christ’s peace and miracles from Jennifer Kennedy Dean and Michelle S. Cox (from Hallmark’s series “When Calls the Heart”). Text LEADINGHEARTS to 64600 to get this issue delivered free to your mobile device.
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CHRISTMAS 2018 Contents

10 Holiday Party Planning Hacks Plus Bonus Recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Bites

By Penelope Carlevato @teatimepen in Leading Hearts Magazine

A FEW YEARS AGO I HOSTED A GOING-AWAY TEA FOR A CO-WORKER. WE HAD ENJOYED WORKING TOGETHER FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND ALWAYS PLANNED ON GETTING TOGETHER “ONE OF THESE DAYS.”

Well, that day never happened until it was time for her to move. As we sat around the table and enjoyed our tea and scones, we regretted not making time earlier for fellowship. We talked about the people God had put into our lives we wanted to connect with but didn’t take the time.

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Sweet Cheats to Holiday the Healthy Way Plus Bonus Recipes for Banana Nut Bread & Apple Crisp

 by Susan U. Neal in Leading Hearts Magazine

When you eat healthy during the holidays your energy level remains high so you can keep up with a multitude of tasks. The last thing you need is brain fog and lethargy due to a poor diet. This article navigates the tempting delicacies with helpful holiday eating tips and recipes.

Use Fresh, Raw Ingredients

The trick to eating the right type of foods is to consume them as close to their harvest as possible. When you eat foods closer to their original form, you will become full with smaller portions because the food contains fiber. Therefore, the feeling of fullness stays with you for a longer period too, so you don’t want to snack as much.

Make dishes using fresh, raw ingredients such as sautéed fresh green beans with garlic and slivered almonds versus the typical green bean casserole. The fresh green beans are nutritious and delicious. Fresh, raw foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and all the nutrients the human body needs—the way God intended for you to eat.

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Chanukah Dreidels and Christmas Dirt Plus Recipe for Traditional Chanukah Donuts

By Amber Weigand-Buckley  @barefacedgirl in Leading Hearts Magazine

I NEVER GREW UP GIVING MUCH REVERENCE TO PLACES AND ICONS, BUT FOR SOME REASON I FOUND MY KNEES WEAK.

It was the third day of Chanukah and I was in Israel for the very first time standing in the city of Nazareth. We had made our way past the shopkeepers and traffic lined streets to the Church of the Annunciation, which sits in the side of the hill of the city. The church was supposedly built on the spot where Mary was visited by the angel announcing her as the highly favored woman to give birth to Jesus Christ.

“Emmanuel: God with us.” In that spot, I understood the power in that statement—the power in that name.

Under the church, you can see the excavated remains of the old city…

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Relative Insanity by Torry Martin Plus Recipe for Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

by Torry Martin @torry_martin in Leading Hearts Magazine

CHRISTMAS, A TIME WHEN MOST PEOPLE EAGERLY SHOP EARLY AND JOYOUSLY WRAP THEIR PRESENTS WITH CARE.

I, however, am not most people. I prefer to do my shopping on Christmas Eve. I know that sounds very last minute of me, but why shop early when I know there’s a convenient truck stop on the way to my parents’ house where I can purchase all my gifts at once and for under $20?

It’s the only place I know where I can buy bobble-heads in bulk. The helpful truck stop store clerk will even have them bagged, I mean, “wrapped” separately while I’m waiting for my car to refuel.

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Stop the Arguing! — Plus Holiday Recipe for Cranberry and Meatball Baguettes

By Pam Farrel @PamFarrel  in Leading Hearts Magazine

“DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING OR ARGUING, SO THAT YOU MAY BECOME BLAMELESS AND PURE, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation .“ (Phil 2:14-15). In the small group Bible study for Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti we joke: “Argument (ar*gyou*- ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you’re right, but your mate just hasn’t realized it yet.”

Once I refereed an hour-long argument over if the Chevy my dad was driving was a 1959 or 1958!!! Couples can get into a cycle of disagreement where everything becomes a point of contention. We could have repeated this unhealthy, destructive, time-wasting way of life but instead, we made a simple choice: Let God’s Spirit select our words.

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