Praying Into the Vision

by Linda Evans Shepherd in Leading Hearts Magazine

WHAT’S THE CRAZIEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE TO FOLLOW AFTER GOD? Was it to raise your kids, teach the teenage class at church or read your Bible through in a year? All good pursuits, but have you ever dared to leave your comfort zone behind and dive headfirst into the unknown because you felt God put an idea before you?

When I was a young Christian, I made up my mind to always say yes to God.

Yes, I will serve you. Yes, I will go where you send me.

In those days I thought God was sending me to seminary to study how to become a youth director. So, after I was accepted into a fine seminary, I never dreamed I would face a roadblock.

When the seminary president wrote me, “Because you married an engineer and not one of our pastoral students, we are canceling your seminary enrollment.”

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My Mentor Loved the Word Impossible

By LINDA EVANS SHEPHERD in Leading Hearts Magazine

I FOUND MY MENTOR IN A DARK COLOSSEUM when a young woman sat on a stool, inside a bright spotlight. In a voice that sounded like a child in song she said, “Hi, I’m Ann. I am one simple woman in the world. I have never shaken hands with the president. I cry. Sometimes I am insecure. I am only one, but I have come tonight to tell you I am one … and Jesus and I and love are out to change the world.”

In those days, I was a young college student, totally in love with Jesus, and I had never heard anyone articulate my heart the way Ann Kiemel (Anderson) did. She spoke of love and simple acts of kindness, and how she and our big God could change the world. I followed her example with my own acts of love and kindness.

I learned that everything Ann said about living life sold out to the Lord was true. It was true for me. Through Christ, nothing was impossible.

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Do You Need Refreshment? Pray this Prayer!

By Linda Evans Shepherd in Leading Hearts Magazine

IT’S A NEW DAY, A FRESH SEASON. THE AIR HERE IN COLORADO IS SWEET AFTER DAYS OF RAIN. The grass is green and the crabapple tree in my backyard is filled with fluffy, pink blossoms.

After a deep season of sorrow upon losing my precious daughter Laura, I am feeling a new sweetness in my spirit. I’m letting go of grudges and pain, and joy is overtaking my fog of grief.

Can the human spirit really find this kind of refreshing? Yes, but only when we refuel by the power of God.

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Get Released from the Holiday Blues—Pray this Prayer Now!

If you are filled with holiday stress instead of the holiday spirit, it’s time to pray for sweet release.

Lord,

I have bought into stress, re-gifted my worries and added credit card debt to my shopping list.

Forgive me!

Help me to exchange my holiday blues for a glad heart, my loneliness for Your presence, my stress for You perfect peace.

I stop and think about Your Christmas gift to me, the dear babe in a manger, so innocent, so holy, such a sacrifice of love.  He is the reason for this season.

My gift to You, Lord, is to hush my grumbling and praise Your name.

I list my blessings, one by one, before You with humble gratitude.

Fill me full of Your joy as I release to You my holiday blues.

May my heart be merry in Your love.

In Jesus’s name, Amen

Linda Evans Shepherd for Leading Hearts Magazine

Beware of These 3 Prayer Roadblocks Plus Bonus Recipe for Christmas French Toast

THERE WAS A TIME IN MY LIFE WHEN I EXPECTED GOD TO MOVE ON MY BEHALF SIMPLY BECAUSE I BELONGED TO HIM.So when difficulties and hardships became my companion, I have to admit that my feelings were hurt.
 
But truth be told, the number one reason I couldn’t get past my difficulties was that of my own prayerlessness. I just wasn’t sure how to bring my problems to God. After all, it didn’t seem as though it was my place to command God. That seemed like witchcraft. And begging God seemed wrong too; especially as God already knew my troubles.
 
It was a horrible car accident that put my baby into a coma that moved me to search the secrets of prayer. My search helped me to reach out to God and watch in amazement as God reached back to me.
 
Not only did my daughter wake up from her yearlong coma, but I also discovered the sweetness of God’s presence as I finally learned how to pray.

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