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

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.

[Read more…]

Could This Be Your Time of Preparation?

By Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith in Leading Hearts Magazine

I PRAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE STAYING SAFE during these unprecedented times by practicing physical distancing from others, extreme hygiene measures and doing the needed self-care to keep your immune system healthy.

This past week has been one of the longest periods of “down-time” I’ve had in months. After having six speaking events postponed in March/April, I find myself looking for ways to best use this time. The two types of R.E.S.T I have needed most are social rest and spiritual rest.

SOCIAL REST

I have come to dislike the term social distancing. During times of chaos, we need those people who are calming and life-giving in our lives.

Social rest isn’t about getting away from people, rather it’s about being restored and renewed by the energy and presence of positive individuals.

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7 Reasons I Shouldn’t be a Missionary

I never had the slightest interest in becoming a missionary. It looked too hard and too dirty, and I didn’t like the clothes.

by MELISSA HEILAND in Leading Hearts Magazine

WHEN I THINK OF MISSIONARIES, I THINK OF FEARLESS, RUGGED, SELFLESS PEOPLE, bravely going wherever God calls.

It’s funny because now, as an adult and a missionary, it’s very easy to see why I’m still not suited to missions.

1. I have no sense of direction.

I do not know the way to places I have gone to regularly for years. I get lost in buildings. My husband says I can’t find my way out of a paper bag. I rely on 7-year-olds to get me where I need to go. And yet, I lead mission teams around the world.

[Read more…]

LH Heart to Heart with Michelle Medlock Adams & Bethany Jett

Christmas 2019 issue Cover Girls Michelle Medlock Adams and Bethany Jett talk about their collaboration over 2 recent book releases: Platinum Faith and They Call Me Mom. What is the secret to synergizing your co-writing skills? Bethany and Michelle (bethanyandmichelle.com) give us that insider perspective and more.

Get this issue of Leading Hearts free delivered straight to your mobile device by texting LEADINGHEARTS to 64600. Visit Leadinghearts.com for more info.

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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. 

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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.

Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself

by Debbie W. Wilson in Leading Hearts Magazine

BEFORE I’D EVEN PULLED OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY, THE WAZE GPS APP ON MY PHONE SAID I’D ARRIVE FIVE MINUTES LATE.

Groan. I was on my way to a group that had invited me to visit after discussing my book Little Women, Big God. My cheeks burned at the thought of walking in late.

Why can’t you leave on time? What’s wrong with you? My thoughts chided me.

This line of thinking wouldn’t make up for lost time or prepare my heart to encourage these women. I’d recently finished reading a novel with an imperfect heroine. When she ran late, I empathized with her. So, why was I so hard on myself?

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NEW ISSUE SNEAK PEEK: Unruffled Ministry: Soul Care for Leaders

by Guest Editor Edie Melson in Leading Hearts Magazine

FOR THIS SPECIAL EDITION OF LEADING HEARTS, I’M HONORED TO INTRODUCE SOME AMAZING WOMEN OF THE ADVANCED WRITERS AND SPEAKERS ASSOCIATION (AWSA).

These ladies are also ministry leaders, serving in the trenches with you.

The heart of each one beats with a desire to equip and encourage you as God uses your story to impact the world. I know each one personally and they are an integral part of the soul care God has provided me. I’m excited to share them with you.

Somedays we’re filled with His Spirit, other days we’re left feeling more like a leaky bucket. But no matter what we’re dealing with personally, the ministry needs keep coming. We have to learn how to function within the chaos and busyness that is life.

[Read more…]

Is God Waiting On You?

by Amber Weigand-Buckley @barefacedgirl, editor of Leading Hearts Magazine

The funny thing about leadership is that it takes far less faith to TALK about your CALL than it does to WALK OUT your CALL. Why?

Because you have to put feet to your faith before you can allow God to SHOW UP and perform the MIRACULOUS.

Joshua and the Israelite priests leading their people into the Promise Land knew that if they followed God’s direction, they were going to hit the Jordan River (Joshua 1:1-9). It didn’t take a genius to realize that when they hit the water, they didn’t have the necessary provisions — no boats or life jackets.

All they had was the faith that when they got there, God would show up — and He did.

[Read more…]