Racial Reconciliation, Repentance & Restitution: Key Items for Every Leader’s Agenda

by Dr. Sabrina Black in Leading Hearts magazine

Leaders impact and influence change. In today’s climate of racial tension and protest of injustice, leaders who will put key items on the agenda are needed. Leaders in every sphere of our society, whether Christian or secular, are bringing the issues of race to the conference table.

It is unfortunate that even in predominantly white, Christian groups, minority people, are often not considered; or there is a blatant disregard. We have a voice, that needs to be heard.

Agenda Item #1 – Racial Reconciliation (The process of healing and transforming injustice)

When the agenda is set for any meeting or gathering, these key items: racial reconciliation, repentance and restitution, need to be a part of the old and new business. We need to look back and review what we have done well and where we have missed the mark.

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From Fear to Freedom

by Penelope Carlevato in Leading Hearts Magazine

WATCHING THE NEWS FLASHES OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL (AND MY NURSE FRIENDS) DRESSED IN BUBBLE HELMETS AND PROTECTIVE GEAR, I remember many times in my nursing career when I had to gown, glove and mask before entering a patient’s room.

A little chill ran down my back as I thought, Am I protected enough?

Am I safe? Even though I have carefully followed all the protocols to prevent the transmission of disease, am I still at risk?

As we travel this time of unchartered waters, I think back to those days when I worked in a large innercity hospital in Los Angeles. They were troubled times. They expected us to show up and work our shifts. Frequently I wanted to stay home and play it safe.

May we find God to be our strength for the days to come. Only our Father in heaven can relieve us of our fears.

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All That Glitters is Never Going Away

by Rhonda Rhea in Leading Hearts magazine

HAS IT HAPPENED TO YOU? YOU GET THAT ONE GREETING CARD WITH GLITTER ON IT — that one card — and next thing you know, your entire living room is a sparkle-palooza.

Granted, I’m the kind of person who enjoys a good sparkle.

Shiny makes me happy. But when I got one of those sparkly cards the other day, there was a sudden, panicked realization that there was more glitter in my living room than was ever on that card.

I tried to brush it off, but it refused to be brushed.

I vacuumed it. Then vacuumed some more. Still … glitter. There’s a fear when dealing with glitter — the fear that you will never escape it. Ever.

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The Jesus Who Reconciles

by Carol McCloud in Leading Hearts magazine

If there ever has been a time to ask, “What would Jesus do?”this is that time.

“How would Jesus treat someone whose skin was a different color?”

“How would Jesus respond to an innocent man’s death?”

“What wisdom would Jesus give to confused and anxious politicians?”

“How would Jesus handle the media who often offers opinion and emotion rather than truthful facts?”

“What would Jesus offer to a world in social isolation and in deep division?”

“What would Jesus do?”

It may be the most important question of our time.

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The Gift of Second Chances

by Intern Breanna Berry in Leading Hearts Magazine

Interview with Authors Sioni Rodriguez and Schelia Singley

IMAGINE YOURSELF IN A POSITION YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE THOUGHT TO BE IN. Had you known the ultimate outcome, you would have never allowed it to become an option. While feeling stuck in this position, you are going through feelings of grief: rejection, anger, hopelessness and loneliness.

A sense of being forgotten overwhelms your mind.

The grief inside you grows to the point where it could burst. But who or what is it that has been taken from you? The answer is hope

This is where Scheila Singley found herself when she was incarcerated.

However, even though Scheila felt alone, her mother, Sioni Rodriguez, was doing everything in her power to restore hope in her daughter.

Rebuilding What Was Destroyed

In their book, Rebuilding What Was Destroyed, the story of Scheila’s experience behind prison walls is revealed to its fullest as her mother uses all her resources on the outside to restore her daughter’s hope on the inside. It even tells stories of women Sioni has reached through her church’s prison ministry and how they connect with Scheila’s story.

When learning about the position Scheila was in, Sioni was devastated. “The pain she went through, I went through,” Sioni said. Although Sioni was across the country from her daughter, she was able to find a local pastor who could restore hope in Scheila’s heart.

The restoration was so big that Sioni now does the same for others.

She visits women who are incarcerated and offers them the hope that can breathe life into them once more.

As she sits down with each woman, she asks them to rate their day on a scale from one to 10; one being the worst day and 10 being the best.

“The reason I ask them is that I want to find out what they are feeling that day. My goal in prison is to speak life into them, to give them hope and say,

‘You know what? God has a purpose in your life,’” she explained. “We have to see people through the eyes of God and know that people can change. We cannot give up on people because God doesn’t give up on people.”

Throughout the entire experience and authoring the book together, Sioni and Scheila’s relationship has grown stronger.

“As her mother, I am so proud of her and feel much closer to her now,” Sioni said.

Scheila expressed her deep appreciation for her mother because of the spiritual battle that she faced to help her regain hope. “I realized she was stronger than me,” Scheila said.

“Christianity is not for the faint of heart, and she beat that devil down.”

Overall, the message of Rebuilding What Was Destroyed is meant to bring hope to the women who are incarcerated and experiencing the grief of losing hope.

Rebuilding What Was Destroyed is for anyone who needs the reminder that it is never too late for a second chance.

“We can be sanctified, redeemed,” Scheila said. “We are His daughters. We are His princesses. We are future queens. There is no reason we shouldn’t keep fighting and never give up.”

WATCH an interview with Sioni Rodriquez on Christian Book Buzz.

Sioni Rodriguez: Rebuilding What Was Destroyed

Now on Christian Book Buzz : Author and Human Trafficking Survivor Sioni Rodriguez: Rebuilding What Was Destroyed

Posted by Amber Weigand-Buckley on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Is This the Worst of Times?

by Linda Evans Shepherd in Leading Hearts magazine


You know these answers by heart: sickness, death, losing a loved one, job loss, not being able to pay bills or rent, having to work from home while homeschooling kids, or horrors — not being able to buy toilet paper!

All of this sounds pretty drastic, and yet, suddenly, very familiar. Yes, these are hard, unexpected times, and we never saw it coming.

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THE BIG QUESTION with Cynthia L. Simmons

Q: Does the Bible call the Ten Commandments the “law of liberty”? How could the Law liberate someone?


But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. This verse makes us take a closer look at the Law, which from the context includes the whole Bible.

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Jen Ledger: Resting In His Arms

What’s awesome about our faith is that He didn’t pick us because we were strong or had our stuff together.

by Jenn Taylor in Leading Hearts magazine


She will tell you that she formed Ledger mirroring the bold music of Skillet. Her latest release, however, is definitely a more slowed down, intimate ballad. “My Arms” seems to have been released at the most perfect time. During these uncertain times, it encourages us to be real and run to the arms of Jesus.

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The Good Shepherd

By Pam Farrel in Leading Hearts magazine

I AM A TRUE BO PEEP. I GREW UP ON A SUFFOLK SHEEP FARM IN IDAHO. I was a fourth-generation shepherd. If there is something I am familiar with, it is sheep! So, when I wrote on Psalm 23 for my book Discovering Hope in the Psalms, it was a very personal, very encouraging and very comforting review of the first verses I memorized — and lived — as a child.

And for all of us, in today’s world of uncertainties and unfathomable tribulations, our heart longs to be protected and provided for by a Good Shepherd.

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How Do You Deal With Manipulative People?

by Debbie W. Wilson in Leading Hearts Magazine

YOUR TEARS DON’T MOVE ME,” A PROFESSOR TOLD A WOMAN IN MY HUSBAND’S COUNSELING LAB. His words stunned the group, but the woman stopped crying. “Those were tears of frustration,” he said. “They weren’t tears of brokenness.” I’ve thought of that when someone’s tears haven’t moved me and wondered what was behind them. Crocodiles shed tears when they eat their prey, but not from regret or sorrow.

Some people use tears to manipulate. Others use flattery. If that doesn’t work, they pout or explode to get us to follow their script. I joined the staff of an outreach ministry after college to work with high school students. I felt duty-bound to any student who reached out to me. My inexperienced faith confused my role with God’s. 

 I allowed a student to manipulate me out of time and sleep. Her urgent calls at all hours and unwillingness to acknowledge my efforts to terminate calls left me exhausted. When my director found out he offered some sound advice. He said the time I gave this girl took away from spiritually receptive students and from God’s best. My time belonged to God, and I was accountable to Him for how I spent it. His words resonated with me.

I’d begun to dread hearing from this gal, and his counsel gave me permission to limit my one-on-one time with her.

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