From Fear to Freedom

WATCHING THE NEWS FLASHES OF MEDICAL PERSONNEL (AND MY NURSE FRIENDS) DRESSED IN BUBBLE HELMETS AND PROTECTIVE GEAR, I remember many times in my nursing career when I had to gown, glove and mask before entering a patient’s room.

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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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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner plus Easy Recipe for Chicken Spaghetti

by Penelope Carlevato @teatimepen in Leading Hearts magazine

Everything was ready for our family Christmas dinner. The dining room table was set, the roast in the oven and the Christmas tree lights twinkling in the living room. Everyone was to arrive in a few minutes. Then my cell phone chimed — a new text. The message was from my crazy uncle who was on his way. He wasn’t invited, because he always caused problems. What should I do? Set another place?

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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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10 Holiday Party Planning Hacks Plus Bonus Recipe for Chocolate Shortbread Bites

By Penelope Carlevato @teatimepen in Leading Hearts Magazine

A FEW YEARS AGO I HOSTED A GOING-AWAY TEA FOR A CO-WORKER. WE HAD ENJOYED WORKING TOGETHER FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND ALWAYS PLANNED ON GETTING TOGETHER “ONE OF THESE DAYS.”

Well, that day never happened until it was time for her to move. As we sat around the table and enjoyed our tea and scones, we regretted not making time earlier for fellowship. We talked about the people God had put into our lives we wanted to connect with but didn’t take the time.

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Stop the Arguing! — Plus Holiday Recipe for Cranberry and Meatball Baguettes

By Pam Farrel @PamFarrel  in Leading Hearts Magazine

“DO EVERYTHING WITHOUT GRUMBLING OR ARGUING, SO THAT YOU MAY BECOME BLAMELESS AND PURE, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation .“ (Phil 2:14-15). In the small group Bible study for Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti we joke: “Argument (ar*gyou*- ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you’re right, but your mate just hasn’t realized it yet.”

Once I refereed an hour-long argument over if the Chevy my dad was driving was a 1959 or 1958!!! Couples can get into a cycle of disagreement where everything becomes a point of contention. We could have repeated this unhealthy, destructive, time-wasting way of life but instead, we made a simple choice: Let God’s Spirit select our words.

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10 Things to Pray You through the Holidays plus BONUS Recipe for Southwest Breakfast Burritos

IS YOUR WORST HOLIDAY FEAR THE IDEA OF YOUR DINING TABLE FILLED WITH RELATIVES WHO ACT AS OPPOSING POLITICAL COMMENTATORS? Family get-togethers can be stressful enough, but with our culture fueled by hate, misunderstanding and inflammatory rhetoric, it can be downright nerve-wracking.
What will happen when your opinionated relatives sit down together? Instead of fretting over the worst-case scenarios, here are ten prayer strategies to help heal holiday hostilities.

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7 No-Fail Holiday Stress Hacks plus BONUS British Flapjack Recipe

By Michelle S. Cox @just18summers in Leading Hearts Magazine

The glossy magazine images, the Pinterest ideas and Facebook posts from friends sharing their gorgeous Christmas decor inspire me. 

My planning began. Why, before I was done, my house would look like North Pole Central! My family would have the perfect Christmas, and I would sail through those days with joy and delight.

I tried. Oh, how I tried. But I basically plodded my way through the Christmas season with unrealistic expectations in a fog of exhaustion.

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Entertaining During the Holidays? 4 Hacks to Make it Hassle-Free

 

by Penelope Carlevato @teatimepen in Leading Hearts Magazine

As the holiday season gets closer and the decorations begin to find their way around our homes, our thoughts go to having family and friend get-togethers and dinners. For some, it is exciting and fun, but for many, the idea of opening our homes, decorating, and making larger meals brings fear and dread.

Why the big differences? All of us have personality traits in combinations and are variable and adjustable and can be brought into balance when we are faced with making decisions on how we will use our gifts.

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