Sharpen Your Writing Skills and More

by KAREN WHITING in Leading Hearts magazine

I IMPROVE WHEN I LISTEN AND APPLY THE WISDOM OF OTHERS. This includes God, my peers, mentors, friends and loved ones.

It’s been especially important in my writing and speaking to let others help me sharpen my skills and keep me accountable in my walk. It’s putting “iron sharpens iron” into practice.

Schedule times to be together and set time limits. Come prepared with what you want to share or ask. Be ready to listen to each person’s needs.

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Stop Stabbing, Start Sharpening

by Edie Melson in Leading Hearts magazine

IN SOCIAL MEDIA TERMS, IT’S A VOLATILE WORLD OUT THERE.

So often, what’s posted online seems more focused on stabbing and wounding than on encouraging and sharpening. Part of that is due to the medium.

Almost 100 percent of the time, online interaction lacks the warmth of a real-time, human connection. It’s an impersonal — anonymous — medium. While we may call those we connect with “friends,” many of them are just faceless names.

When we’re speaking online, it’s far too easy to be so focused on what we want to share that we forget the individual — hurting — hearts of those we’re communicating with.

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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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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
BY TEXTING LEADINGHEARTS TO 64600.

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.

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New ISSUE—Learn to Lead with Impossible Faith!

Learn to lead with IMPOSSIBLE FAITH! The October/November issue of Leading Hearts features incredible stories of women pursuing the bigger-than-life call that God has on their life and the faith that keeps them moving forward every day!

Karen Whiting is Reaching Families Called to Serve, Tanya J. Miller is helping us Walk the Path of Impossibilities, music artist Hollyn shares hard lessons learned in love gone wrong.

The reality of God’s provision, dealing with unseen results of working for the Kingdom plus practical tips to avoid internet brain drain. ALSO, BRAND NEW Debut for this ISSUE!!! Leading Lady Life Hacks from red carpet style-insiders Shae Wilbur celebrity commentator and Sharon Oliver, publisher of CEO Life & Style Magazine. 

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Are You a Leader or a Follower?

by Linda Gilden and Linda Goldfarb in Leading Hearts magazine

With just a little adjustment and reassessment of your skills, you can excel as a leader and as a follower.

“AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS IS … HEATHER GREEN!” Heather felt her stomach tighten and palms sweat. She never thought they would pick her for the chairman. She thought, I much prefer following someone else’s lead.
Circumstances or choices often dictate whether we lead or follow. Most of us have daily opportunities to do both.

What we do and the way we do it is determined primarily by our personality.

Your personality is one of four categories: Mobilizer — the get-it-done person, Socializer — the life-of-the-party person, Stabilizer — the keep-it-peaceful person, and Organizer — the everything-in order person

When it comes to leadership, how do you use your personality strengths to be the best leader and follower you can be?

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When Did We Forget to Dream Big?

Dreaming big is Godcentric, allowing His story and kingdom to advance.

by Janell Rardon in Leading Hearts magazine

”Between your longings and the demand for their fulfillment is a place as real as any in the tangible world. But it is uncharted and uniquely tailored to your own personal story. You will only know you are there when you feel a little on the edge of your chair — and you are strangely at peace.

Getting there, sometimes, feels like a miracle itself. It is the place of trust. Trust hangs somewhere between knowing what your heart longs for and trying to dictate the shape or timing or outcome of your heart’s desire. It lies in the willingness to accept the particulars of how and when and where God chooses to intervene. It waits in the cool shade of surrender.”

–Paula Rinehart, Better Than My Dreams

Do You Remember Your Dreams?

I’ve always been a dreamer. One of the very first books I remember reading was, To Dance, To Dream, by Maxine Drury. Just seeing the cover on Amazon made my heart smile. Published in 1965 (I would have been seven years old), I distinctly remember carrying that book around with me. Filled with aspiring words, my little girl heart dared to start dreaming.

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