Christmas Issue Sneak Peek: God’s Unexplainable Provision for Your Position

by Erica Wiggenhorn in Leading Hearts Magazine

Leadership can feel isolating at times. Sometimes God issues a call upon our lives that no one else quite gets. It’s unique to us and doesn’t seem like a natural fit to our skill set, experience or gifting. And that’s because our God works in the supernatural and does the unexplainable.

This is why I love the friendship of Elizabeth and Mary. It’s the story of God’s unexplainable provision for their unique positions.

Seclusion, Isolation and Intersection

When Elizabeth discovered she was pregnant, she remained in seclusion. After years of barrenness, it’s no wonder. It doesn’t take too much imagination to piece together the speculation of her fellow villagers regarding her inability to have children. Infertility was thought to be a curse of God in those days.

At the opposite end of Israel, all the way to the north, another miraculous pregnancy is announced to young Mary by the angel Gabriel. She would become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Son of God. Talk about a call of isolation! Who on earth is going to understand this?

God in His great mercy, mentions Elizabeth’s miraculous pregnancy to Mary, giving her direction to process this news.

Luke’s gospel tells us Mary traveled with haste down south to Judea to Elizabeth’s home. Mary must have been terrified. Who would believe her? Would Joseph divorce her? She could be killed for presumed adultery against him.

It’s important to reflect on the fact that finding favor with God doesn’t always equate to the absence of fear. It usually means He’s calling us to the unexplainable, to something impossible apart from His power. To something beyond anything we could think, ask, imagine or hope for in our lives — and that means it’s going to be a little scary, and definitely outside our comfort zone or current skill set.

I’d say a virgin birth falls into those categories, wouldn’t you? Who could she go to talk to about this? Well, God in His great mercy answers Mary’s question. Go to your cousin Elizabeth. Talk to her. She will believe you. And when you begin to doubt yourself, Mary, the baby inside Elizabeth’s womb will remind you what I have told you.

And God brings the wondering woman in a call of isolation to the shamed woman in seclusion. And what we behold in their intersection is the beauty of God’s unexplainable provision: they danced around the room in joy!

Wisdom and Wonder

The older and wiser Elizabeth immediately speaks words of affirmation over young Mary. As one who had experienced years of reproach from the women in her village, she knew firsthand the shame and judgment Mary would face by those who doubted her call. In her experience of barrenness, she knew the pain and isolation that others’ rejection would bring. Mary, on the other hand, renewed Elizabeth’s wonder. She sang out a song of praise and prophesied regarding God’s faithfulness and future goodness in store for them. And together, in one another’s presence, fear faded and God’s praises were proclaimed.

God sent Mary to Elizabeth to share in the joy of her past-child-bearing-years pregnancy and also to glean from her wisdom. And Mary needed to know she wasn’t alone in this, humanly speaking. She had Elizabeth, who believed in her, accepted her and rejoiced with her at the work of God in her life.

Oh, how greatly we all need an Elizabeth, don’t we?

A mentor.

A confidante.

A co-laborer in ministry, whether it is in our homes or elsewhere.

Someone who believes in us when we stop believing in ourselves.

Someone who can remind us what God promised in our darkest hours.

Renewed Joy

For those of us who have been wounded by the seclusion and isolation of leadership- how our joy becomes renewed when we pour into young women full of wonder at the unexplainable ways of God! Our past pain and hard lessons become fortresses of safety, affirmation and wisdom to those who have miraculous calls before them. We can take them by the hand, speak words of affirmation and watch fear fade. We can learn to dance again.

Who is your Elizabeth?

Who is your Mary?

Ask God for His unexplainable provision for your position- whether it’s wisdom or renewed wonder.

The world needs more Elizabeths willing to share their wisdom.

The world needs more Marys walking in wonder at the goodness and mystery of God.

And heaven knows the world needs to a see a whole lot more women dancing with joy at the gift of one another’s greeting

My dear sisters, let’s listen to the song of the Spirit in our heart and go find our Mary and our Elizabeth.

From Unexplainable Jesus: Rediscovering the God You Thought You Knew by Erica Wiggenhorn- an 8 Week Bible Study covering the Gospel of Luke from Moody Publishers.

COMING DECEMBER 20TH! GET THIS FREE ISSUE FIRST
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Giving Up My Buts

by Amber Weigand-Buckley in Leading Hearts magazine

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to believing God for the Impossible, I have two big BUT problems.

The first is the big BUT of DOUBT. It diminishes God’s ability within the framework of God’s request. It can keep you from moving in any direction. 

The worst, though, is the BUT of “I’VE GOTTA FIGURE THIS OUT.”

That can really get me butting heads with God. Why? Because I’m always trying to help God out.

“I can take the guesswork out of your miracle, God, by troubleshooting the solution.” 

[Read more…]

#LeadingLady Life Hacks with Sharon Oliver

MEET SHARON OLIVER

SHARON a highly sought-after inspirational speaker. And her goal is to let her love for Christ shine through everything she does in the mainstream. She is known for her candid and humorous personality that gives personification to her stories and conferences.

Since 2014, Sharon has been the publisher of Richmond, Virginia’s popular lifestyle publication, CEO Magazine. CEO Magazine features articles of women from various backgrounds and demographics that are leading in their communities and in the business sector. Through unprecedented support of CEO Magazine, it has also given birth to various subsidiaries; CEO Network: Club CEO & CEO Studios, Chicks with Brands and CEO Publishing.

Sharon, who is an ordained minister, is anticipating the release of her first book Dear, Stupid.me is set to release in Winter 2020.

Sharon says, “Being the Chief Executive of your life takes work. Taking care of yourself is priceless.” Besides coffee and a whole lotta Jesus, here are some of her fave leading lady life hacks

[Read more…]

Got a Doubt? Get a Clue

by Rhonda Rhea in Leading Hearts magazine

I REMEMBER PLAYING THE “WE’VE GOT-FIVE-KIDS” VERSION OF THE GAME “CLUE.” Who did it? Never just a whole lot of doubt there: It was the toddler—in the family room—with a permanent marker.

We held our things and furniture and carpets and walls all pretty loosely in the days of raising kids, though it was still tough not to get just a little bent out of shape when yet another lamp would bite the dust. It still amazes me that no one knew who broke it or how it happened. Except that I do doubt.

And it wasn’t just the kids doing the demolition. One time a kitten clawed his way from floor to ceiling on my newly painted wall. He was halfway down again before I pulled him off. I’m pretty sure I saw his life flash before my eyes. Is that a thing that can happen? Because I might’ve seen it nine times.

On the spiritual side of life, I have room for even fewer doubts.

Believe it or not, doubt is much more destructive than five kids and a cat. It has a way of grabbing onto our joy and fruitfulness and sort of clawing it up from floor to ceiling.

The enemy wields doubt.

He’s been effectively using it as a weapon since the fall of man. As a matter of fact, it was his weapon of choice in the initiation of the fall in the first place.

[Read more…]

The Hand in Glove of Leadership

by Karen Porter in Leading Hearts magazine

FAITH IS A WORD THAT IS THROWN AROUND IN THE MEDIA AND ON SPORTS SHOWS AND IN LIFE. People say, “Yes, I did it because I had faith.” Or, “We won the game because we had faith.”

I always perk up when I hear someone say those words because I want them to finish the statement and say what they have faith in. But most of these proclaimers don’t say the object of their faith — they only say they have faith.

It’s one thing to have faith that your chair will hold you up when you sit in it or that your car will start when you turn the key. But we need deeper faith, and sometimes we need faith for the impossible.

[Read more…]

Uncertain Outcomes

From the Publisher Linda Evans Shepherd in Leading Hearts Magazine

I WANT TO BE A WOMAN OF FAITH. BUT IN THE FACE OF UNCERTAINTIES, I CANNOT ALWAYS FATHOM WHAT GOD IS DOING.

I pray for healing for one, and that one is healed. I pray for healing for another, and that one continues to suffer. How I wish God would let me in on the “why” of it all. But He doesn’t. In fact, it seems to me that God shields His thoughts in mystery and I painfully realize that His ways are not the way I would do things. I mean if I had more “control” of God, I think I would insist He send me important updates:

Thursday, pray for Cindy and Bob, as Bob will lose his job. But don’t worry, I’m giving Bob a better job.

Friday, little Jeffery will be bullied after school and it will be an outrage. But this incident will help to put him on the right path to fulfill My purpose for his life.

Next Monday, Janey will dive into the darkness of drug addiction. It will cost everything, but she’ll finally find me on her darkest night.

[Read more…]

HOLLYN: In All Honesty

by Jennifer Taylor in Leading Hearts Magazine

All relationships can be tough to navigate, but that is only amplified when you are struggling through the confusion with no one to confide in.  

This is a snapshot of feelings that recording artist HOLLYN experienced in a relationship that, in all honesty, ended in heartache and grief. That season and afterward inspired her to write six songs — the culmination of her current album Bye, Sad Girl.

Lyrically Speaking

Bye, Sad Girl is all about stories. Mainly, my story of when I walked through a pretty rough time in my life almost two years ago.

I went through a six-month period where I was in a relationship that was very confusing and crippled me with a lot of anxiety and depression. I really didn’t know how to talk about it at that time,” HOLLYN says.

“I remember feeling so isolated and like nobody could really feel what I was feeling. I had never been through anything like that before. It was so different and new to me that I kind of felt crazy.”

HOLLYN wants everyone who feels alone in these situations to know there’s a God who loves them. She started writing the songs about six months after the relationship ended but knew they were nothing like her other recording projects — because all of the emotions of her journey were just spilling out. 

[Read more…]

When God Calls the Heart to Faithfulness

by Heartie Michelle S. Cox in Leading Hearts Magazine

I just returned home from a week in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. My husband and I enjoyed some sightseeing while we were there, but the main purpose of our trip was for the Hearties Family Reunion. 

I’ve been blessed to co-author the When God Calls the Heart devotional books with Brian Bird. He’s the executive producer and co-creator of When Calls the Heart, Hallmark’s #1 show. 

Each year, the fans of the show — the Hearties — are invited to a family reunion in Vancouver. 

The event sells out in minutes when it opens for registration, with hundreds of more folks on a waiting list. It’s a fun weekend with panels from the cast members of When Calls the Heart and the spin-off series When Hope Calls, sessions with the production crew and Hallmark executives, opportunities for photos with the stars of the shows, and time to bond with other Hearties from around the world. 

[Read more…]

Edie Melson: Why You Shouldn’t Get Caught Up in Your Social Media Numbers

by Edie Melson in Leading Hearts Magazine

One of the most significant issues we have is a tendency to approach online reach with a have-to-do, legalistic mindset. Truthfully, because successful social media is all about relationship building, it works best when we treat it as an exercise in faith.

When we get caught up in numbers and percentages, we lose our way. 

Instead, we must remember that those we interact with are not numbers; they’re people.

If we begin to judge our effectiveness, the worth of what we have to say, by numbers, we’ve lost our way.

[Read more…]

Heart-to-Heart Author Interviews

Heart-to-Heart with Karen Whiting

Our October Cover Girl, author and speaker Karen Whiting, shares her passion to reach families called to serve and her newest release “52 Devotionals for Families Called to Serve”. Read more in the latest edition of LH by going to leadinghearts.com or get this issue delivered straight to your mobile device by texting LEADINGHEARTS to 64600. If you are a Christian Woman Communicator, find out more about joining the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association at applyawsa.com.

Heart-to-Heart with Edie Melson and Rhonda Rhea

Amber talks with Co-Authors Edie Melson and Rhonda Rhea about their new book debuting September 24th—Unruffled: Thriving in Chaos published by Bold Vision Books. Read more in the new issue of Leading Hearts Magazine at leadinghearts.com or get this issue delivered free to your mobile device by texting LEADINGHEARTS to 64600.

Heart-to-Heart with Pam Farrel

Morning encouragement from our Summer Cover Girl Pam Farrel: Discovering Joy in Philippians. To get this issue free text LEADINGHEARTS to 64600 or go to leadinghearts.com.