Is This the Worst of Times?

by Linda Evans Shepherd in Leading Hearts magazine

IF THE EARTH WERE HIT WITH A WORLDWIDE PANDEMIC, WHAT’S THE WORST THAT COULD HAPPEN?

You know these answers by heart: sickness, death, losing a loved one, job loss, not being able to pay bills or rent, having to work from home while homeschooling kids, or horrors — not being able to buy toilet paper!

All of this sounds pretty drastic, and yet, suddenly, very familiar. Yes, these are hard, unexpected times, and we never saw it coming.

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THE BIG QUESTION with Cynthia L. Simmons

Q: Does the Bible call the Ten Commandments the “law of liberty”? How could the Law liberate someone?

YOU ARE CORRECT ABOUT THE PHRASE. JAMES 1:25 (ESV) SAYS:

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. This verse makes us take a closer look at the Law, which from the context includes the whole Bible.

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When God Calls the Heart Back to Him

by Michelle S. Cox in Leading Hearts Magazine

WHENEVER I VISIT HOPE VALLEY (the set of Hallmark’s “When Calls the Heart” television show), I’m always struck by how different things were back in 1915 and in the years following (which is when the show is set).

The antique cook-stove in Elizabeth’s house, the stagecoach pulling into town, the lack of telephones and cars in the early seasons, and the absence of so many other modern conveniences are stark reminders of how things have changed through the years.

But even without all the must-have things we take for granted now, there were important life-lessons from back then, things that many of us have forgotten or ignored as we’ve rushed through our busy days.

The sense of community was one of Hope Valley’s riches.

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Leaders are Followers, Too

by Karen Porter in Leading Hearts

It is important for each of us to be followers of the Good Shepherd because who we follow will determine how we lead.

WHEN I WAS TOURING ISRAEL, THE GUIDE STOPPED NEAR A FIELD OF GRAZING SHEEP. HE SAID, “I WANT TO SHOW YOU SOMETHING THAT WILL MAKE A SECTION OF YOUR BIBLE COME ALIVE.”

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Sheila Walsh: A Brave New Day

HEART TO HEART WITH AMBER WEIGAND-BUCKLEY AND SHEILA WALSH

In this time we have to find fresh ways to still be who we are and do what God’s called us to do.

SHEILA WALSH IS AN AMAZING INDIVIDUAL WHO IS ALL ABOUT SHARING THE WORD OF GOD through worship with everyone around her. She does so through her many different callings as an author, speaker, television host and musician. In this interview, Sheila opens up to LH editor, Amber Weigand-Buckley, about the power of prayer, the meaning of bravery and how she was able to plant her feet on the ground to overcome an overwhelming darkness.

Q: I was thinking about the whole idea of Braveheart Worship being such a subpoena right now in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. We can “do church” online, but many of us are used to corporate worship. Tell me about how you worship in this time.

Sheila: Well, on my iPhone I have a worship playlist of just some of the songs that the Lord has used to just speak to my life. I’ll be honest with you, Amber. Some days I don’t want to listen.

Yesterday, for whatever reason, was just a really hard day. All my engagements had been canceled for the next two or three months, and there are some things that felt overwhelming, but I’ve learned. I gave my life to Christ when I was 11 and I’m now 63. That’s 52 years of the goodness and faithfulness of God.

The psalmist David would speak to his own soul: “Come on, bless the Lord, O my soul.” It’s almost like he was instructing himself. So, I went out and I turned on my playlist. It took me until song number three before I could feel the weight lifting.

Jesus told us in John 16 that in this world, we will have trials and we will have troubles. Each one of us will walk through something.

This pandemic is unprecedented, but Jesus told us to take heart. No matter what’s happening, no matter what we hear each morning on the news, God is still on the throne. God is still sovereign. This did not surprise Him, and He has a plan in the middle of everything.

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Circle the Wagons

Rhonda Rhea Donuts
By Rhonda Rhea in Leading Hearts magazine

COFFEE AND DONUTS. THEY GO TOGETHER LIKE LOVE AND MARRIAGE.

Someday I’d like to write a poem and I’d like to start it with the line, “Coffee and donuts, sittin’ in a tree.” I’m not sure where to go from there.

I get that far and all I know is that I want to be in that tree. I confess I’ve had a few too many donuts. Sad to say, the bough on that tree would be bending pretty low about now.

That’s why I decided to go on yet another diet recently. Also, sad to say, I’ve already fallen off the wagon. I’m thinking of putting up a sign that says,

“Please keep body inside the wagon at all times, and please stay seated until the wagon comes to a complete and final stop.”

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THE BIG QUESTION: Q: Did you ever have a crisis of faith?

by CYNTHIA L. SIMMONS| WWW.CLSIMMONS.COM in Leading Hearts Magazine

Q: Did you ever have a crisis of faith? How did you resolve it?

YES, AND I GREW UP IN A CHRISTIAN HOME. We attended church regularly, including special services several times a year with visiting ministers. At six, I realized my sin and confessed faith in Christ. When I entered ninth grade, my parents enrolled me in church school where I learned creationism.

However, during my teen years, misgivings clouded my mind. Guest pastors told the exact illustration as if it happened to them, and I labeled them dishonest. Plus, church leaders didn’t live up to their own standards.

Well-versed in Genesis, I longed to hear from evolutionists so I could compare the reasoning. While these thoughts churned, my cousin shared his own doubts.

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Rekindling the Joy of Christmas Past

By Penelope Carlevato in Leading Hearts magazine

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.—Colossians 3:16

CAROLING ON CHRISTMAS EVE, TRIMMING THE TREE AND LISTENING TO CHRISTMAS SONGS ARE PART OF MY FAMILY’S TRADITIONS. We also make a gingerbread house, buy an Advent calendar, and celebrate Boxing Day! We read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve, watch quintessential Christmas movies on television and hide Elf on the Shelf.

Like many families, these traditions are passed on from one generation to the next, and we occasionally add new ones. But the custom of singing the familiar carols is my favorite.

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Christmas 2019 issue: Rise Up! It’s Your Time to Shine

“Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousnesslike the stars forever and ever.” —–Daniel 12:3

You may think of a million people more equipped than you to accomplish the call God has on your life, but God is calling you to RISE UP because It is Your Time to Shine!


Christmas Cover Girls Bethany Jett and Michelle Medlock Adams (bethanyandmichelle.com) give us Platinum Faith perspective
.

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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.

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