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.

#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

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Tanya J. Miller: Walking the Path of Impossibilities


It’s hard and difficult to admit, but even in your pursuit and persistence, you still may not succeed initially or on the next try. And you know what? That’s ok.

by Tanya J. Miller in Leading Hearts Magazine

So, when Amber, LH editor asked if there were ladies from the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association interested in being interviewed on her FB Live Show,  I literally thought 

• One: It’s time to shoot your shot.

• Two: Nothing beats a failure, but trying.

• Three: Step out on faith and put yourself out there again.

Well, needless to say, Amber and God had other plans for me. She messaged me and said yes, are you free? And then asked: hey you wouldn’t want to write an article about pursuing God’s call with impossible faith? With an impossible deadline of Oct 5th? Or better yet, how about Walking the Path of Impossibilities?

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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.

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Leadership is Not for Wimps

by Karen Porter in Leading Hearts Magazine

Leadership is not for wimps.

Nor for anyone who is trying to make a name for herself or make a fortune. Instead, being a leader involves serving and nudging others to do their best.

My husband and I own a group of small businesses.

We work hard, and we try to incorporate the qualities of a good leader as we work with our employees, associates and the freelancers we hire.

Recently, he and I began attending a mastermind group composed of other small business owners. The meetings are stunning and mind-opening. After each meeting, we are encouraged and challenged to integrate better leadership into our day-to-day work.

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Personality Secrets to Build a Better Team

by Linda Gilden@LindaGilden in Leading Hearts Magazine

In a Harvard Business Review article January 25, 2017, called “Great Teams Are About Personalities, Not Just Skills” by Dave Winsborough and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, the authors mention a study done by Google in 2016 in which Google said they had found “the secret ingredients for the perfect team.”

At Google “people are preselected on the basis of their personality (or ‘Googliness’).” Many large organizations use some type of personality assessment to assist in hiring, promoting and matching individuals with certain jobs and departments.

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Stop Wasting Your Time and Start Using Your Gifts

As I look back, I realize that a driving force behind most of what I’ve done in my life has been the desire for significance—to do something with my gifts.
I admit that I want my life to count. I don’t want to just flow through this earthly existence from my birth date to the day I die and leave nothing behind except the dash on my tombstone to indicate that I was here.