Author: julie

379. Empowering Lives with Purpose, Interview with Candace Kirkpatrick

By julie in Uncategorized on January 9, 2023

Women World Leader’s guest Candace Kirkpatrick is a faith-based actress in television and film, but she wasn’t always focused on faith as she made choices within her lifetime career. Candace shares her story of “surrendering” her choices within her achieved career, to receive God’s provision of a lifetime dream. This podcast interview will inspire you and encourage you in your own journey of faith to always do what is right.   *****  

Welcome to empowering lives with purpose. And I’m your host, Kimberly Hobbs. I’m the founder of Women world leaders. And we are just so happy that you are here today and I’d love to welcome our guest, Candace Kirkpatrick. Welcome, Candace.

Hello, there. Thanks for having me, Kimberly, I’m happy to be here.

And we are so happy that you’ve joined us. And ladies, we are happy to all come together and for a greater purpose. Our purpose here with these podcast series is to encourage you, strengthen you and empower you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So a verse that I always love to open up with is Ephesians 210, talking about us being God’s masterpiece, because each one of us are his masterpiece. But today I want to open with our verse from women, world leaders, which is right there Ephesians 320 on to him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or imagine, according to the power that’s at work within us. And we truly believe ladies that when you allow that power of the Holy Spirit to work within each and every one of you, God is going to do exceedingly, abundantly above what you can imagine in your life. So to start off, today, I want to share a little bit about our guest, Candace, she is first and foremost a Christ follower. And she is a wife, a mom, she loves to serve Jesus in her calling, which is acting, she’s an actress. So as a well known actress in film, and television, Candice has a story behind it all, where she is now and what she is doing in her industry, and how she is here on this podcast to encourage each and every one of you. That’s what we’re all about is encouraging, right? And we do that by sharing our stories. And God has given us each a story. We believe that with all of our heart. So what is your story? And hopefully you’ll be thinking about that today. As Candace shares a little bit about her story. Her parents were divorced at a young age, she was only like four. And they dropped her at nursery school where she began acting in the first grade. And she loved it so much. She continued acting all throughout school, and she graduated high school valedictorian of her whole class. Then she received a full ride on to college, where she studied the arts. And she got received a bachelor’s and a master’s while at college and also graduated valedictorian of her college. And that’s an achievement. Candace. That’s amazing. We are so happy to have you, man, she started attending top acting schools. She got an agent, she moved to New York, where she started doing different things with her career. She’s done shows abroad in London. And she’s really, she’s received recurring acting parts on soap operas. And all of this, she’s done as her faith and walk in Christ continued to grow. So in her love of this industry, some of her acting brought her to various parts. And I wanted to start here and let Candace open up about this, all of the sudden change that God was speaking to her in her life through receiving some of these parts that she was auditioning for. So Candace, please share with us a little bit about that.

Hi, okay, great. Um, after I got my master’s, I was at one program for my Bachelor’s a different program for my masters, where I did years of Sanford Meisner training. Then I moved to New York got the agent, like you said, and I was doing a lot of work off Broadway and traveling around the world doing shows, including London, as you said, as well as Ukraine. And then I was getting small parts and TV and film these little bitty recurring roles, nothing substantial. But when I came back from my show in London, that is when I started getting more larger roles. And one of them my agent had sent me up for a role that had come from Toronto. And it was a huge success in Toronto. And he said, you know, they’d like to see you to take over one of the roles, and I went and saw it. And it was offensive. And I can’t say anything nice about it. And so I spoke with my agent and said, I’m sorry, I can’t do that. And he’s like, Oh, you need to it’s very successful. It’s very popular. And I said, Have you seen it? And he said, No, I haven’t. And I said, please see it. And then he said, You need to separate your religion from your work, oh, boy. And I said, What you go see it, and then we’ll discuss it. But that didn’t go over very well, then I was also getting some roles in now in larger roles in TV, and film. And I didn’t even though my character, I didn’t have a problem with the character, I was portraying the message that the audience would take away what you know, I didn’t agree with. And, again, I went to my agent, and he was like, Well, if you won’t do it, we’ll get somebody who will somebody else who will. So at one point, I honestly thought, oh, I should go ahead and do this. And then I can take that money and use it for something that would honor the Lord. And the Lord spoke to me very clearly, to obey is better than sacrifice and in your kin. In your case, Candice. To obey is better than compromise. I don’t want you to compromise. Obedience, which is interesting, that word obedience, because I hope I come back to it at the end. Because that’s something you know, just radical obedience. So I just laid the script for the Lord. And I was like, Lord, I want to honor you, I want my life to honor you. And so some of the things that I was looking at, in that I was reading that before, I just thought was brilliant writing now, it was, um, causing this tension in my in my spirit. Because I saw this as, even though you could say, I mean, there are a lot of incredible writers. But unless you know who you’re grounded in, in the board, what comes out May not be edifying, and will not be building up of anyone or giving you a message of hope. And so that is when I seriously, I met with pastors and others to say, Okay, I need Godly counsel right now. Because, as you said, I had I started acting when I was three before I even got into first grade. And then I had done that my entire life for, you know, through middle school, elementary school, high school, college graduates. So to say, Lord, are you calling me away from this? And that is when he surrounded me with some prayer warriors.

Wow. Well, that that’s huge. Because you are at a point in your life where you are like, Okay, do I sacrifice, the love of my life, what I was doing, to walk away, like you said, and not compromise in this, you know, World of this career that I’ve built, and then follow after God’s heart. And so I’m sure that struggle was there, and you needed women to surround you and pray for you and, and others. So, so you did you, you sacrificed, and you became a mom, you raised a family, you started doing some things through these this 20 year journey of moving away from your career at this point for just a little bit, although I think you’re gonna share with us some of the things that happened through those 20 years, which are pretty cool. So let’s go there.

All right. Well, after much counsel, as I said, from pastors, as well, as I had, I was leading some women’s prayer, prayer ministries and Bible studies. As I was praying about exiting this industry, and two women that I was very close with came over almost every day to pray with me that I would just delight myself in the Lord that I would love what he had for me, and that I would trust him. And so I was newly married at the time, so I invested in my marriage, we decided prayed about having a family. I didn’t want anyone raising my family as you stated, you know, I was four when my parents got divorced. And we went between back and forth between our parents. So I wanted to make sure that I was intentional in my children’s lives that no one else was raising them. And so during that time, I just continued to pray, Lord, use me however you wish to use me. So I continued to teach, I think I have taught Bible for more than two decades, I was leading prayer ministries within their schools. And I was writing and directing place for churches, as well as like, I did this huge, musical, as well as play for churches. And I was also directing their vacation bible school during the summer and helping write scripts or rewrite scripts and direct for that.

And God was still giving you those, those desires of your heart to play them out. But it was just in a different role right now, because you are now a wife and a mom. And so you had the best of both worlds being able to do this, but doing it as a wife and a mom, but I think that’s beautiful.

Yeah. And also, I do think it’s important. I mean, you know, when it says, Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he’s old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22, six, Amen. Yes. And so I think, to get the word in the child is important. And I, and I think to, for kids to have a love for the Lord. It can’t be just do’s and don’ts, Do this, don’t do this, don’t do this. But when you open up the world to them, like to me, when I read the Bible, it leaps off the page, I just embrace everything. It is a live action adventure. And so when you are doing that, and you are presenting these writing scripts, or something where you are bringing the Bible to life, then you’re opening up a world for them, to hopefully fall madly in love with the Lord and with His Word. And that was, My desire is that not just my own children, but children at their schools, because I was directing for their schools as well, and for the churches and stuff like that, that they have this love for God. So

I love that about you, Candace, you are passionate about pouring into others through what you do. And you found that way to do it while you were raising your children because of the importance of pouring in. And one of the ways I know you are very passionate about studying in the Word, and being a mom and teaching your children about this. But another area that you are passionate in, in why you are where you are today, walking with the Lord talking with the Lord is because of the importance of prayer in your life, Candace. And because of that importance, I know that somebody’s near and dear to you in the movie, the War Room, which again, you had your your ties in with that movie, but you, you developed your own prayer room, in your home. And I thought, wow, this is really neat, where you go to that prayer room on a regular basis, you communicate with the Lord, you have two sides of this closet set up. So I wanted you to share with the women right now the importance of prayer in our life and why it brings us to what we can do for the Lord, how we can serve Him if we’re in communication with him.

Yes. My prayer closet is extremely important to me. And I need to I really want to clarify this. I have been a prayer warrior for as long as I can remember, it’s it’s breathing to me, I want to be in constant communion with the Lord. Because as Peter said, where else where we go, Lord, for you alone have the word of life. So there’s nowhere else I can go. But a tragedy happened in my family in 2018. And it just sent me level on the floor before the Lord. And I mean, you know, I couldn’t even draw breath it was and so I can’t even describe it. And then I realized, you know, I was not just praying for exams and friendships and you know for my kids and safety and protection, I was praying on a far deeper level. Okay. And when you mentioned the War Room, I was not a part of that film at all. But I have done, I’m doing a TV pilot with Karen Abercrombie, who is plays Miss Claire of the War Room. So she is an incredible, amazing woman. And I need to share that she is more fiery, more passionate in real life than she is in that film. So that just gives you an idea what she has, like she’s phenomenal. And her passion for the Lord is like love it.

I love it. I just have to share this because now that you brought that up in women, world leaders, we in our Facebook group every day we write empowering words to encourage and strengthen the women. And I have shown Miss Karen Abercrombie, who what is her name and the move is Clara, this Clara. I have played that that stint in the kitchen over and over I put it on women world leaders, because when when I get riled up and I’m writing, you know, and I’m passionate about something I’m saying and I’m like we are going to prayer over this or we’re doing this, I put that clip on the bottom. And it just inspires the lady so I’m tickled just

you should know she’s more passionate than that character. Oh my goodness. So randomly, she just calls me to send me love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love. So anyway, I love that I’m blessed because of her. But anyway, because that movie prompted me with this tragedy to make a prayer closet. And that’s what I did. So I shared I don’t have the luxury have a very small closet. I didn’t like take out all my clothes. I just moved everything over and I have two walls. One is praying how God views work and there are hundreds of scriptures hundreds of how important work is to God. You know, the he has created work in advance for us to do you know, he has already got it. And I don’t want to miss what he’s called me into. You know what I mean? Right? Not all these things lined up and he’s already purposed for it. I want to be Lord, I’m here. I’m here. willing vessel use me use me right here. But then on my other side is praying for loved ones. Last ones, unsaved ones, families with going through health issues, cancer, tragedies, death, rebellious children, divorces everything. And so I have each side, plastered with scriptures like almost from the floor to two thirds of the wall. That’s beautiful. And then ticker tapes running. One is a prayer requests and one is a praises. And then I’ve got about 10 or 15 books in there. devotionals that I do along with my Bible. And I journal I want to promote this here. I’m promoting you see this? And in pew. Okay, this is a guided discipline in prayer, because it helps you because a lot of people don’t know, like, where do I start? I’m overwhelmed. You know? No. And this is like, I’m just sharing it because it’s the Lord’s place. It all mean, what are the circumstances? It says, what are the circumstances? What just happened? And so this is, what are the lies the enemy is telling me? That’s the second part. The third one is How am I feeling about this? There’s an index with 200 500 how I’m feeling this because a lot of times you may be feeling like 50 different ways. This is how I’m feeling. Okay? And then it says, And this is what Jesus says about it. And the Holy Spirit just download scripture. And I just like this is what Jesus says about it. This is what Jesus says about it. And this is what he says about it. And then on the other side is adoration, confession Thanksgiving supplication, the axe prayer thing. Yep.

This those are all important parts of prayer.

They are in my prayer closet with me. Because I cannot go operate in my flesh in a world that is broken. I so much want to be filled by His Spirit, armored up like in Ephesians six that I have on the full armor of God. So that when I go into a situation I am Lord, You are speaking through me you will use me and then I will just be an instrument for your glory. I gotta constantly remind myself remove myself. It isn’t him and he came About every single person I encounter, whether that person is walking with him or not, he cares. So how can I be his arms and feet and light and joy, and love if I’m not staying? You know, he says, I am the vine, you are the branch Remain in me and you will bear much fruit, but apart from me, you will do nothing. That’s right, I want to be, I want to be making a lot of fruit. Remember, even is gonna happen if I am tethered, but I am anchored in the vine. And so I spend a lot of time because there’s so many things I can fix and solve. And I’m like, Lord, all right, you got to take care of it, and I’m gonna rest in you, but I gotta be prayed up. So

Amen. Amen. And that. That’s my point, you know, communication with God is key ladies key. And we all need to have that place where we know that we’re going to go to the Lord every day. It’s not just when problems come that you go to Him in prayer. No, you develop that relationship and you pray continuously. And if it means taking a designated area where you walk by in your house every day and say, I need to get in that room. I haven’t been in there all day. Because we shouldn’t let the day go by that we’re not praying and communicating to our Heavenly Father. That is how he’s going to speak to us. That is how he’s going to change our life. That is how he’s going to prepare us for the future for what he wants to do in and through you. So please, ladies, make it a point to get this prayer closet. Down. I go in my pantry every day. And I know it sounds funny, but I have a walk in pantry. And I can go in there and I can shut out the world. And because usually it’s my kitchen being my domain, but the pantry is that place where I shut the door and block everything else out. And I just focus in there. And I go to the Lord in prayer. And I talked to him. I was in there three times already today. So it’s important ladies, right? It’s important to be in our prayer closet. So though, Candace, so through all of this communication with the Lord and His 20 year journey, this is so exciting to say that God brought you to now a new acting place. Now you are in faith based only and you are a voice. God’s given you a voice to help tell stories to help others share their stories, and you want to be His hands and His feet. And so like I say, God has been preparing you it doesn’t happen overnight. Ladies, it’s a constant daily walk with the Lord. And before you know it, you’re walking right into your beautiful purpose that God has prepared just for you. So Candace share about that, you know, you’re now you’re in faith base. I know we have to be closing up in a minute. But it’s like, here we are. So talk about now you’re doing what God has called you to for him? 

Well, I pray that he’s, I mean, he’s still working on me, I you know, He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus, that’s Philippians, one, six, so he’s still working on me. There’s prayers that he hasn’t answered yet, or he’s answering in some phenomenal way that I can’t even fathom, which I’m excited about to see how he’s going to work. And in 2018, he opened the door for me to go into faith based entertainment. And I said to him, Lord, if you ever call me back into this industry, may I honor you? And that’s what you know, there are people who do not do secular work, and God uses them to minister to people on those sets. Okay. So I tried to look at the content. I tried to look at the message I tried to see what is the point that they are writer is trying to get across what is the director’s intent? And I read up on it, and he’s opened some doors for me, that her clearly his, his not my doing that had become directly from him. And I you know, there’s a saying I’m saying, sometimes I just smile and look up and go, Yeah, that was you, God, that was you God. And that’s it. You know, because I go, Yeah, that was you. And so he’s to

Psalm, Psalm 18, verse 30, says, God’s way is perfect. Yeah. So well, maybe back 20 years ago, you were doing it the way of the world but God’s way is perfect. And now you’re in faith based God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises are true. Psalm 1830. Yes.

Well, I hear you know, I’m working on the faith based crime drama, vindication. I have a recurring role on that, which is fun. It’s not like the normal dramatic roles I play. It’s a quirky OCD character. I love it. I got to do this TV pilot with Karen Abercrombie of the War Room, and Cameron Arnett of overcomer and and hopefully that’ll get picked up. I’m supposed to be working on a film called Love one another about racism and how we deal with it in the church. So I’m thankful for that. But in the meantime, I mean, I’m not I’m not anxious, I’m not nervous. I’m just like, Lord, bring me to whatever you want to close doors, open doors. And in the meantime, I wouldn’t go back to praying. That’s why I pray and I flood, I don’t let the world in so much. If I’m not listening to uplifting Christian music, I’m listening to my Bible app on, you know, on my head, that I’m listening to women, faith based writers who are encouraging, you know, your identity in Christ,

and you’re embracing everything that God has for you. And that’s what we need to do women is embrace everything that God has for us keep our eyes fixed on the Lord, right? Yeah, it’s a focus. It’s fixed on the Lord. How do you do that? You’re in His Word. You’re talking to him. So yes, Candace, so we have to wrap it up. But I just want you to give that encouragement right now to the woman that’s listening right now. What can you speak into her life, about moving into all the fullness that God has for her?

Well, the first thing I would say, know that the Lord loves you, intimately. He is intimately acquainted with you, He knows every hair on your head, he has your name engraved on the palm of his hands. So seek him before you turn on the television or anything else. Go to his word, before you call up a friend and want to complain about something, go to him and say, Lord, you know how that stung that hurt that bothered me. And just have him fill you up with how tremendously he loves you and wants a relationship with you. And then surround yourself with godly women who were chasing after Jesus. prayer ministry this morning with a group of women. And I am in constant prayer. Like I have time phone calls throughout the day that I pray with different women around the world because we’re in different time zones. People who are pursuing Christ, because we live in a broken world, but we are to be the salt and light. And it’s hard to be salt and light, if we’re not being constantly filled up with him. So I have to say in saturate yourself in the word, pray, pour out your heart to Him, there’s nothing he doesn’t know. Just pour out your heart to Him, He will FILL you and give you tremendous joy in the midst of some very hard circumstances. And if you if you need a buddy, call, somebody you know, is a prayer warrior, who was falling hard after Christ, to say I need your help to lock arms with me. And we will go to battle together. And that’s what I want to encourage.

Amen. And thank you for that encouragement, Candace. And just as Candice connected with women, world leaders, we love that God brought her to this amazing group of women. And that’s why we’re here ladies is to be that help to you to reach out in all these different areas. There’s women walking through what you’re walking through, there’s women that are here, just to be helped other women. We’re here as a as a way to help each other and in Canada, so wonderfully, was led by the Lord to be here doing this podcast right now as an encouragement to you. Maybe God has a story in your life that you’re going to share somehow, some way in, in our magazine, and in a book that we’re putting out or whatever it may be. But God has a way to use each and every one of you to do not doubt that. If your old way of living is leaving you feeling spiritually dull and dead inside, then it may be time for you to surrender everything to Jesus, just like Candace did. She knew that time that things were not going in this direction that her life was going with the world. God didn’t want that for her. So she surrendered. And she changed her heart. And God gave her this passion to serve others, and now she’s doing it for him. And we are so grateful that you shared. I wanted to share a scripture portion that I thought was so cool. And kind of goes right along with what we’re talking about Canvas. It says our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts in order to make certain that what you hope for will come through then you will not become spiritually dull or indifferent. Instead, you You will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. That’s Hebrews 611 and 12. So in your sphere of influence, ladies think about that. Candace is sphere of influence became her husband and family and then those that God connected her to at that time, and then he opened up her world. And now she’s doing all of this faith based way of reaching the loss for Jesus. So whatever your gift that God has given you, it may not look like canvases, it’s your own. A verse that I heard Candace share in a past podcast that I wanted to share too, is Colossians 317, which says, Whatever you do, in word or deed, do it for His glory. So we just want to share that with you as well and encourage you with whatever you’re doing, just make sure you’re doing it for the Lord Jesus Christ with the right heart and the right content. So in closing, I just want to share with you all that we have a magazine that just launched recently, it’s a monthly magazine. And if you are looking for extra encouragement, and just a word from the Lord, there’s scriptures in here this is put out by women, it’s called voice of truth, which comes out every month, and put out by women, all kinds of wonderful nuggets inside that will inspire you encourage you in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you can receive your free monthly copy by going to women world And there you can go to the Contact Us section, and put all your information in and we will be happy to start sending you your copy of voice of Truth magazine. Ladies, you can also join us on our Facebook group where we interact and comments. And it is a private group so just asked to be invited in. Also we have the website, women world, where if you need prayer, or if you need another woman to come along beside you, we can help you with that. So just put in a prayer request. And we have tools there ladies. So these are open and available to each and every one of you, wherever you are. We just love you. We want to help you and from his heart to yours. We are women moral leaders, Candace Kirkpatrick. I thank you so much for being there. And you can find Candice Kirkpatrick at…hat is your website? There you go. So I’m sure she would love an encouraging word as well. So all content is copyrighted and cannot be used without expressed written consent. God bless you all and have a wonderful day.



378. Celebrating God’s Grace – New Year, New Things

By julie in Uncategorized on January 6, 2023

Happy New Year everyone! 2023 is here. As we may reflect on the past and look forward to what’s ahead, we really only have today. And God’s Word tells us again and again, He is doing “new things”! As our focus and guidance come from the Lord, may we all be joyful in the new things He has for us in this season to bring Him the glory He so deserves. God bless!


Welcome to Celebrating God’s Grace, a Women World Leader’s Podcast. I’m your host, Rusanne Carole. I have the privilege of bringing you our first podcast for 2023! We, at WWL, thank you for listening and we are so grateful for all God has done in this ministry and our lives this past year, including being able to bring you a trio of podcasts each week. We encourage you to join us in studying God’s Word and learning about all the promises He has in store for us -His sons & daughters.

We are also aware we have had many challenges in this past year of 2022:  including the loss of loved ones, obstacles to overcome and opportunities to continue praising and trusting God through some of the most difficult times this world brings to us and our families and friends.

Yet another year is upon us.

A new year, 2023, is here! A time to reflect. A time to ponder. A time to trust our Lord and Saviour with every day we are given here on this earth.


Shall we begin in prayer:

Lord, thank you for this past year. Thank you for the wonderful times you provided where we celebrated and enjoyed all the gifts you gave us. And help us praise and worship you even through the challenges and the things we don’t completely understand or particularly like!  It’s often through the suffering we experience that we can find peace in resting and trusting in Your promises. Your promises tell us You are with us. You are a God who truly understands everything we go through! You are bringing us into a new year and with all it will bring let us first and foremost look to You in all we do.

What is it about the turning of time to a new year that makes us evaluate – re-evaluate – dream – set goals?

It’s a restart.

It’s a putting behind the past and turning toward the new.

All that is ahead.

We tend to long for the past and strive for tomorrow. But really all we have is today – so no matter the year God’s Word says all we have is TODAY.

Here are a few things to contemplate as we walk into another year:

  1. Our days are numbered, God knows our beginning and our end and He gives us free will to live out what many call the dash (the in-between days, the days we are called to be here at such a time as this.

What is God calling you to do in this next season? No matter where you are in your “dash” He has something for you, something to do to glorify Him.

Could it be joining a prayer team?

Could it be a new job?

Could it be learning something new or teaching someone else something new?


I encourage you to spend the time with Him and He will show you what you can partner with Him to accomplish for His Kingdom – to bring joy to yourself and others. It may also be things that stretch and grow you.

Over & over in the Word it tells us God will do “new things”.  We must seek Him, rely on Him and He will assist us to accomplish what He has for us to do with our time here.

  1. Just as the years have seasons, our lives have seasons.

What season are you currently in?

Some of us are in a resting season? Others in a harvest season?

Whatever the season, we are to look to Him and allow for His guidance and His path to be taken. His will, His way we learn with time is so much better than anything we could come up with on our own.

Is God calling you to plant a new dream in your heart? Like a woman who may not believe she can step into that new chapter – starting a business, writing a book, taking that job SHE always wanted to take but something held her back.

Could God be calling you to water others’ dreams at this time? Like a mother staying home to look after her children or those that may be in their later seasons to really take the role of serious intercessory prayer. We often can undervalue by the world’s standards and

Or could God simply be calling you to rest, for you have had a huge year and this is a season to sit, be still and WAIT on Him to tell you what is next.

WOW! What opportunities lie ahead for those that seek what God has for them.

God is the ultimate planter of dreams in the field of our heart!

God is a builder.

  1. And lastly, live in the present in each day. As we seek, listen and hear His voice He will be there in the present, the still, small voice. We, as His children, know His voice. We may not get it 100% right each time but in His mercy He gives us another day to have a go until we are called home for eternity with Him. So we have this dash! Lord, help us to make the most of each minute of each day.

Lord, let my joy, my peace, my life be a mirror of You and who You are!

Lord, let this year (regardless of the circumstances) be a reflection of who You are in me.

So as we take on this coming year, let our resolution simply be God, let us be more like You each day you gift us to be here. And if you haven’t accepted Christ as your saviour, here’s an invitation. There is no better time than now! Simply say this prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life. I turn to You and ask for forgiveness. Thank you for dying on the cross for me and thank you that you forgave all my sins and set me free from the power of sin in my life. Please come into my heart and life and fill me with your Spirit all the days of my life. Amen.

If you said this prayer, the Word says there is rejoicing in heaven as you accepted Jesus into your heart. A new beginning begins!

I naively believed that once I accepted Jesus in my life all would be well , that life would be easy, a bed of roses some may say. Boy, what I wrong! There are roses and there are thorns, but I give God the permission to be the gardener of my soul, my life. And all is well because God is with us – we are never alone.

Those that have said this prayer celebrate the beginning of a new life in a new year! Those of us who know God begin a new year, hopefully with him as the central focus of all we do! May we live each day for Him and continue to learn and grow and glorify Him above all else.

Happy New Year! If you have said this prayer, please reach out to someone who can walk and support you on your new journey. Everyone is invited to contact us at – submit a prayer request, register for an upcoming event, and express interest in supporting the ministry in various ways. From His heart to yours, we are Women World Leaders. All content is copyrighted by Women World Leaders and cannot be used without express written content.

377. Walking in the Word – Don’t Worry, God’s Got This!

By julie in Uncategorized on January 4, 2023

Welcome to 2023! However you are feeling today – energized and excited or a bit more trepidatious — Jesus has a message for you: don’t worry, I’ve got this! Join Julie Jenkins today for our study of Luke 12:22-34.


Welcome to Walking in the Word – and welcome to 2023! My name is Julie Jenkins, and I’m so glad you have joined us for the start of this new year!

If your New Year’s resolution involves spending more time in the Bible, then you are in the right place. Women World Leaders has been blessed with the ability to bring you three podcasts each week. On Mondays, founder Kimberly Hobbs hosts Empowering Lives with Purpose—a 30-minute interview with a different woman of faith who shares her story with the goal of empowering you to walk in your God-given purpose. On Fridays, we have a team of leaders who host Celebrating God’s Grace – a short podcast designed to celebrate all that God is doing in our lives, in this ministry, and in the world. And today, Wednesdays, we are intentional about studying the Bible together on Walking in the Word. We are currently walking through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There is so much to learn from these writers as they lay out for us the life of Jesus. Today, as many days, we get the pleasure of studying the words of Jesus Himself. We just celebrated Christmas, which was a miraculous time, but Jesus’ birth is only the beginning of all that God wants us to celebrate. Today, we celebrate Jesus’ teaching and wisdom.

A new year is an interesting time. On the one hand, we can feel like we are given a fresh start with energy and focus as we put our new year’s resolutions in place. But a new year can also be a source of anxiety and frustration as we inventory our lives and, perhaps, see a lack of past progress or are reminded that this is the first year we will live without a loved one who has passed, a relationship that has grown cold, or a dream that seems to have fizzled out.

A new year can be a springboard, launching us into the future. But if the devil has his way, your new year may feel nothing shy of painful.

So I don’t think it is a coincidence that when I opened my Bible today to our next scripture verses, I landed on Luke 12:22-34, finding Jesus’ words of warning about worry and stress and His glorious reminder that we can trust Him as we walk into 2023.  

Whatever your attitude as you start this new year, I believe this scripture was written with you in mind today. Before we begin, let’s pray.

Dear Most Holy God – 2023 is upon us, and we are so grateful you are with us! We give you this time today as we open your Word together. Teach us what you want us to know. Allow our minds to be attentive, our hearts to be receptive, and our wills to be obedient as you launch us forward today. Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


As we begin today, let’s set the scene. Jesus is speaking to the crowds, which are getting bigger each day. As Jesus’ ministry grows, we tend to think about the crowds getting more belligerent – and they did as the Pharisees and Sadducees felt increasingly threatened by Jesus and tried to trap Him in His teachings. But let’s also remember that there were many people who genuinely wanted to learn from Jesus – including His own disciples. Many had seen His miracles and had already gained from the wisdom He offered—yet they were like sponges, intentionally soaking up all He had to give.

As I go through life, I hope I can look past the grandstanders, the nay-sayers, and even those who want to steal the spotlight. I hope I can look solely to Jesus and focus on His words alone. Jesus had just criticized the religious leaders – heaping woes on them. And then He spoke about the rich fool, warning of greed to those with money. But now Jesus turns to his disciples, and as He speaks to those who had already given up all they had to follow Him, He offers wisdom that will translate directly to all his future followers. His simple message is: Don’t worry, I’ve got this.

Let’s begin at Luke 12:22 from the New Living Translation…

22 Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.

We love control, don’t we? And we want to know that we are in control of our future, which may include having a big bank account, driving a dependable car that will get us where we need to go, and owning the finest things in life.

But the devil doesn’t stop by putting the desire for control in our minds; he is a wizard at making us worry … causing us to dwell on the what if’s. What if I can’t pay my bills? What if my health plummets and I can’t earn the money I need to live? What if inflation keeps skyrocketing?

Jesus knows this – none of the devil’s tricks are new to Him. So He warns us – THIS is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life…for life is more than food, and your body more than clothing.

Oh – in this tangible world we live in, this can be hard to accept. It’s hard to understand that when we do the will of God, we DON’T need to worry about material things because our God’s got this!

So Jesus graciously gives us a picture of what He means, saying…

 24 Look at the ravens.

Ravens were worth nothing. They were unclean, so they could not be eaten or sacrificed. And they were stupid — they wouldn’t even return to their own nests. God provided a home for them, and they flew away from it, never to return.

Jesus continues…

(Ravens) don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them.

God takes care of the ravens…who are seemingly worth nothing. And yet YOU are God’s child! If you don’t understand the important place this puts you, listen to Jesus’ words…

 You are far more valuable to him than any birds!

Jesus goes on…

 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

This is a rhetorical question. It doesn’t take a PhD to know that worrying is bad for your health, your outlook, and your demeanor. Numerous studies SINCE Jesus’ time have proven true exactly Jesus’ point…so He adds..

 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that (adding time to your life), what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

Then Jesus pulls on MY heartstrings as He mentions lilies – by far my favorite flower…

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

Can I be honest with you? For the past several days, I have been feeling a bit lost and forlorn. I won’t get into details…because, well, there really aren’t details to give…but I’ve been in a bit of a funk. I’m guessing you can understand. And today I opened my Bible and read THIS….Look at the lilies… So I pictured a field full of these beautiful flowers. Take a moment to imagien them with me.

I actually received a bouquet of pink and white lilies just a couple of weeks ago. And guess what…they did nothing. They just sat on my table. But their mere presence made me smile each time I walked by. They were stunning and they filled the house with a glorious scent. But all those lilies did was EXACTLY what they were made for.

It made me think – if I am more important to God than lilies, then just MY presence must make HIM smile. And all I have to do is do exactly what he created me to do — He will take care of the rest. I don’t have to worry. You don’t have to worry. About anything. Because God’s got it all under control—He loves you far more than lilies…or ravens!

Verse 29…

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

Let me say that again – God ALREADY knows what you need, and when you seek Him, He will give you everything you need!

As we enter 2023 – I don’t even know what I will need! The pandemic sure took us all by surprise! In January of 2020, we certainly didn’t know that many of us would NEED Zoom to communicate with each other. My oldest daughter had already moved out – when we bought our house in 2019, we certainly didn’t know we would NEED a bedroom for her. But God did. And He provided.

Worry is the opposite of faith. We worry when we fail to put our trust in our GOOD God who loves us more than we can imagine and is in total control of EVERYTHING.

Jesus continues…

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

I love how Jesus reminds us that He is our Shepherd. We are helpless sheep who can NOT take care of ourselves no matter HOW hard we try or how much we worry. But, praise God…we have a mighty Shepherd who is totally in control, who knows exactly what we need BEFORE we need it, and whose PLEASURE it is to provide for us. We simply have to trust Him and believe that God’s got this!

Jesus then puts a ribbon on this gift of provision He is handing us: BECAUSE He is faithful and PROMISES to provide EVERYTHING we need, WE can be generous with everything we have! Jesus says…

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! (It’s a win-win!) …the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

However YOU are starting 2023 – whether you are raring to go or stepping in with trepidation, Jesus, in this passage, gives YOU permission to step forward feeling safe and secure. You may not feel in control. That’s okay…because God is! You may not know what is ahead, but He does! You most likely don’t know WHAT you will need, but He has already made provisions for you to receive exactly what you need when you need it.

And what is your duty in all of this? To simply do what you were made for. To walk in your purpose. To serve Jesus in joy.

Your job, Christian, is to trust God’s control, direction, and provision as you exude His beauty for all to see. Beauty that is more amazing than a field of lilies, by the way.

Don’t worry. God’s got this. And just by being you, you make the Creator of the universe smile.

Dear Most Holy God, We have a hard time understanding your gracious generosity because in our sinful hearts, we simply can’t understand why you give us something for nothing. Thank you for your love, which is too deep for us to comprehend. Thank you for your provision, your guidance, your wisdom, and your strength. Dear God – I thank you for giving us the courage to walk in the path you have deemed for us and ask you to instill in us unwavering faith in you. Thank you for reminding us that you are a good God and for calling us your own. In Jesus’ name, I pr

375. Celebrating God’s Grace, Refreshed and Renewed

By julie in Uncategorized on December 30, 2022

It is our prayer that after the holiday season, you are feeling emotionally, spiritually, and physically refreshed and renewed and ready to jump into 2023. If you aren’t, there’s still time! Join host Janet Berrong as she extols the value of refreshment and offers tips for starting 2023 by embracing self-care.


Welcome to celebrating God’s grace, a Women World Leaders podcast. I’m your host, Janet Berrong. Thank you for joining us today as we celebrate God’s grace in our lives in ministry and around the world. 

It’s good to be back with you today refreshed and renewed and ready for the new year. January is always a good time to refresh and reboot, you get a whole new start to a new year. We all like a fresh start. Like this year, I started off the year with 11 day fasting and praying. For me it was really powerful, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Physically, I felt incredible and revived emotionally. I was at peace and had a sound mine. Spiritually, I drew closer to God and had many breakthroughs. I took long walks, got out in the fresh air, I worship through music, and I even danced. I filled my atmosphere with only good and nourishing things. Our heavenly Father gives us a fresh start daily. I encourage you to lean in and draw close to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to do a work in you get refreshed and renewed from the inside out. Lamentations 323 reads, great is His faithfulness His mercies begin afresh each morning. Do you know that God cares about your body? Yes, he cares about every detail about us. He cares about our body because he created it. He fashioned it so perfectly for health, not to live for health, or to make health of God of its own, but to use it to live out the purpose he has for you. He is not a God of external things. But he is personally God who resides within you. He is watching how you use your time, your money, your talents, your opportunities, your mind and yes, even your body. One of the ways we can become defeated quickly is negative thinking, fear. This is why we have to keep our mind and eyes on Christ. what His Word says about us is the only truth. What about our mind? Does God really care about that too? When we think about maintaining our health, you might not consider your mind as being part of the process. However, maintaining a healthy mind is extremely important. Furthermore, you may not consider that your relationship with God and your knowledge of His truth and his plan for your life is a part of maintaining a healthy mind. Scripture tells us in Romans 12 to do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. When you do you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is his good and pleasing and perfect will. As the Bible says in John 15, one through eight. We must stay connected to the vine in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and bear spiritual fruit. Maintaining a healthy mind, grow in the Lord. Trust him and his plans for your life. Stay connected to him daily through prayer and studying his Word. My prayer today is searched me God and refresh my heart right now. Please help me to surrender my expectations and transform my mind to draw nearer to you. Search me God and align my heart with yours as I pursue the plans you have for me. Let me remember what you’ve already helped me overcome. You have already made a way for me to know you. You have already made a way for me to experience eternal life with you. Nothing is too hard for you. Search me God and heal my heart. Whatever the future holds. I know you hold me nothing is impossible for you. Restore me God and make me new into Jesus name, amen. Be refreshed and renewed in this new year. God bless each one of you listening today. And until next time, my beautiful sisters. Thank you for listening to women world leaders podcast. Join us each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As we explore together God’s extravagant love in your courageous purpose. Visit our website www dot women world To submit a prayer request, register for an upcoming event and support the ministry from his heart to yours. We are women world leaders, all content is copyrighted by women world leaders cannot be used without expressed written consent.


374. Walking in the Word, Pray in the Spirit at all Times

By julie in Uncategorized on December 28, 2022

Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6:18-23 to pray in the spirit at all times and on all occasions. What a great reminder as we wrap up 2022! God has a plan and purpose for you in 2023, learn how you can walk in His will through prayer.




Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins. Thank you for joining us as we wrap up 2022 and head into 2023! Allow me to take a minute and say thank you for your involvement in Women World Leaders this year! Whether you have volunteered with the ministry, attended an in-person event, supported us through your donations, or simply listened to this podcast, please know that we value you! And more importantly, God sees and loves you!

If you’ve missed any episodes this year, we encourage you to go back and listen to them or even download them so that you can share them with anyone God may put on your heart. As we study the Bible systematically together through this Women World Leaders podcast, please know that we are ONLY scratching the surface of all that God has for you in His Scripture – which is a living, breathing work of art created especially for you! I pray that you will return again and again to scripture daily, allowing God to speak to you where you are.

We are excited to jump into 2023! If you have been around Women World Leaders for very long, you know that our ministry was founded on and is guided by prayer. Before we embark on ANY endeavor, we seek God’s will. So whether you are reading our Voice of Truth magazine or stepping into an author’s role in one of our books or anything in between, know that YOU are covered in prayer. One of our leaders recently commented that prayer is the best gift we can give anyone. I think that says it all! Prayer is so important that our first Leadership Connect of 2023 will be dedicated to learning more about prayer – I hope you will plan to join us for this time of learning and fellowship on the third Monday in January – that is January 16th at 7pm ET. You can join us from anywhere in the world – in fact, we often have leaders on from India, Australia, and Canada. To register to receive the Zoom link, visit our website – www.

And…as prayer is the cornerstone of our ministry, I thought it would be appropriate to wrap up 2022 by studying scripture about prayer. So today we will be studying Ephesians 6:18-23. Before we begin, let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father! Thank you for allowing us to Walk in your Word together. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to know you more and to hear your heart on a personal level as we spend time with you. Father, I ask that you would infiltrate the heart, mind, and soul of each woman listening today – teaching her what you want her to know, allowing her to hear directly from you. We praise and thank you for making this, our time together, possible. And we give all glory to you for every good and perfect gift that only you can supply. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Sit back and listen as I read the writing of the apostle Paul from Ephesians 6:18-23 from the New Living Translation.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[a]

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.[b] 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

21 To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.

23 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,[c] and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.


Paul begins this part of his letter by encouraging his readers to 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.

Prayer is part of the armor given to us by God. It is ALWAYS available to us …and God wants us to harness prayer continually! Calling on God is the means by which we can experience His PROTECTION, which enables us to stand strong against the schemes of the devil and the evil of the world.

How do we pray continuously? On ALL occasions? Is that even possible? Yes, it is! We can pray on all occasions by living our lives devoted to God and by keeping Him in mind at all times. This requires staying alert to and being aware of God’s presence. When we are, we will be more prone to offer quick prayers to God regularly throughout the day. We often condition ourselves and teach our kids to pray before meals and before bed. That is a great start! But what about the other 23 hours and 45 minutes a day? If you were side by side with someone all day every day, and they only acknowledged you for 15 minutes a day, you would just think they were downright rude! Don’t be rude to God – acknowledge His presence!

When you see a beautiful sight – thank Him! He created it! Tell Him – great job, God!

When you need guidance – ask Him! How should I respond, God? What do YOU think?

When you are worried, request His peace! He WILL carry your burden for you.

When you are bored, look around…and revel in His glory.

When you are in pain, rely on His comfort.

No prayer is too small for God! He longs for you to turn to Him every moment! To see Him. To recognize His presence. To share your life with Him! God IS with you … all – the – time! What a treasure we each have simply in His presence!

Paul goes on to say…

Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Once you start recognizing God’s presence beside you, remember that He doesn’t want you only to focus on what YOU need, but He wants you to petition Him for the needs of others. We as Christians MUST lift each other up in prayer. Look around – who can you stand in the gap for?

That cranky store worker? – perhaps she needs God’s strength to get through her day.

What about teachers? Many of us entrust the care of our children into the hands of teachers every day. And teachers are usually overworked and underpaid. A teacher has to be prepared to challenge the student who may learn quickly, to patiently explain to the student who just doesn’t get it, and to deal with emotional, psychological and even physical issues. Teachers NEED our prayers.

What about our pastors and healthcare workers? They need our prayers for strength and wisdom and peace.

And how much could an overanxious child thrive if someone were to pointedly pray for him?

We all need prayer – and it is our honor to lift each other up to our Holy God. Ask God who He wants you to pray for! I used to hate waking up in the middle of the night – I would immediately think about the amount of work I had the next day and how those minutes of sleep I was losing were robbing me of needed energy and focus. But I’ve learned – I’ve learned that it isn’t all about me! Now when I wake up in the middle of the night, I thank God for nudging me and I ask Him who He wants me to pray for at that very moment.

Paul knows how important an army of prayer warriors is for each of us, that is why he says next

19 And pray for me, too. We each must be bold in asking for prayers for ourselves! Sister, what God has called you to is HUGE! He has a kingdom-purpose for your life – a mission that you were born for, gifted for, and particularly placed for! And yet, that mission that you are called to, I am here to tell you, absolutely can NOT be accomplished in your own strength – you need the strength of God Himself upholding you! And you need others around you who will petition the heavenlies on your behalf! None of us were meant to walk through this life alone, and YOUR purpose is intertwined with MY purpose. Do you have someone you can go to for prayer? We, at Women World Leaders would be honored to join with you in prayer! Please go to our website – – and tell us how we can pray for you!

Paul asks for prayer, not just for his own walk and daily life, but so that he can do the will of God – the purpose of his life. He says…

Ask God to give me the right words so I can BOLDLY explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.[b

Paul knew how vital his mission was! He knew that telling the good news of Christ was what he was supposed to do, but he also knew that by fulfilling that calling, he was risking his own death. Even as he wrote, he reminds us that He was in prison for living out his anointing – and he asked for prayers for strength and boldness to fulfill that calling – to not be intimidated by the schemes of the devil and the darkness of the world.

My life is not in danger when I preach and teach the Word of God, so I truly can’t imagine how Paul must have felt or the empowerment that he needed. But like Paul, my struggles are real. I am not in prison, but I fight against time constraints, pride, and fear of failure – and I, too, request your prayers that I may keep on with the good fight! Even as I ask for your prayers, I lift YOU up in prayer – because we each have a calling that is significant and important, and we must band together as God’s ambassadors – as Women World Leaders – upholding each other, and most importantly, upholding the message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse 21 tells us that Tychicus was delivering this letter to the Ephesians and that Tychicus was there to give a full update on Paul and encourage and strengthen them as Christians.

Which should lead us to ask…who do I need to encourage today? Who can I strengthen with my words and actions? Maybe even with my demeanor? A quick text or a well-timed email can mean the world to someone. Eye contact and a smile – even across Zoom – can make a difference in someone’s day and may be the encouragement she needs to just keep walking – and let’s be honest, sometimes we all need that little push to just keep walking!

As we close this year and step into a new one, let’s re-commit to prayer in a way that will make the devil want to run in the opposite direction. As Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians, so we at Women World Leaders say to you…

23 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,[c] and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.

Dear Heavenly Father – you are gracious and glorious. You are our strength and our song. You are our provider and our peace. Jesus, I am reminded today that you know what we are walking through – because you walked on this earth in human form, and because you walk beside us each and every day. Father, I pray for strength and joy for my sister as she lives so courageously the life that you have called her to live. We are an army for You, God. Today we put on our armor and we walk forth in victory – knowing that you have won the battle and that evil and death are defeated. We are unified in you, we stand together for you, and we ask that you shine forth your light into this world for all the world to see as we live as imitators of you. God, we submit to you and we take joy in your peace and your presence. I ask your blessing and protection over each one listening today, may she see and know your true presence in her life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.




373. Empowering Lives with Purpose, Interview with Kristen Clark

By julie in Uncategorized on December 26, 2022

Today’s Interview is with special guest Kristen Clark,  co-Founder of “Girl-Defined”. This ministry has an outreach touching over one hundred thousand young women for Christ.   Today Kristen will empower you by sharing some of her personal story and how she found fulfillment in Christ vs something or someone else. Kristen shares about keeping Jesus at the head of your marriage and life.

371. Walking in the Word, Peace and Joy in His Midst

By julie in Uncategorized on December 21, 2022

This Christmas, run to Jesus! He has come amid the craziness of this world to bring you His peace and joy. He is calling you just like He called the shepherds on that night long ago. Peace be with you, and all glory to God in the highest. (Luke 2:8-20)




Welcome to Walking in the Word, the Biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins. I hope you are enjoying our walk through the gospels as we focus on putting the four pictures from Matthew, Mark, Luke and John into one comprehensive view.

As I record this, it is Christmas week – the time when we celebrate Jesus’ birth on earth. Jesus, our Holy God, came to earth as a human so that He could die a sinner’s death and give all of humanity the opportunity to step into an eternity with Him. But our most powerful and majestic God also came to earth so that we could individually connect with Him and experience peace in our everyday lives.

Have you ever met someone you deem “important” or “famous”? I have – and no matter how prepared I am – when I meet someone “out of my league,” I often feel a bit tongue-tied, or intimidated. My head swims a bit. Do you know the feeling? Although God is, undoubtedly, in higher standing than anyone we will ever meet, He wants to relate to us on common ground. God never wants us to feel tongue-tied around Him. So Jesus came to earth as a man. He was born in a stable. And He lived a common life. He was the extraordinary amid the ordinary who went to extremes to be relatable. So on Christmas, not only do we celebrate the MAJESTY of God, but we also celebrate His HUMILITY as He descended to earth out of sheer love for us, ushering in peace and joy.

Let’s begin in prayer…

Dear Heavenly Father – today we praise and glorify your name! We know we should do that every day, but today we intentionally remember the birth of Jesus as a helpless baby, praising the fact that you saw fit to come to earth so that you could save us from our sins AND connect with us in such a loving fashion. As we study your Word, God, I ask you to teach us what you want us to know. Guide us in wisdom and joy as we open our hearts to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

In today’s scripture, we are going to take a few moments to peer into the lives of the shepherds. These men were perhaps the lowliest of the low. And yet, they were seen by God, who counted them as so important that they were visited by the angels and were the first to hear of Jesus’ birth. Let’s read Luke, chapter 2, verse 8-20 from the New Living Translation:

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in highest heaven,     and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18 All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, 19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.


One of my favorite Christmas hymns, Silent Night, gives us an idyllic vision of what was happening the night of Jesus’ birth…but it seems from this text that there wasn’t much “silent” about that night.  

Let’s start with the stable – the birthing room, as it was. I’ve had three children, and although each birth was beautiful, there simply wasn’t anything silent about the process. I think my husband remembers that more clearly than I do! And let’s not forget that the holy family was sharing their space with a stable full of animals. And I imagine the animals had their own chorus going on.

But maybe it was a silent night in the fields where the shepherds were?…Let’s imagine…

I envision a clear night, with the stars brighter than most of us are used to. After all, there was very little light pollution in those days. But scripture says the shepherds were guarding their flocks…and sheep are very loud animals who only sleep about 4 hours a night. Guarding sheep was a purposeful, 24-hour a day job – so much so that the shepherds had to take turns sleeping and standing guard against thieves and animals. I can picture the shepherds straining to be alert even in the darkness, listening for sounds of intrusion over and above the sound of the sheep.

The truth is that the job of the shepherds was far from glamorous – it was constant and messy, certainly not silent and peaceful. It makes me think of being a parent. I can remember sitting up those late hours with each of my newborns, just praying for a moment of PEACE. You probably know what I’m talking about. It can be hard to push through those nights, knowing in your heart that what you are doing is important, but at times, feeling alone in the struggle…like the whole rest of the world is silent, and somehow you alone are fighting to do your job in your loud and messy corner. Some theologians speculate that these shepherds were tending the sheep that were to be used as a sacrifice for the temple services – now that would have been a stressful job! The perfect lamb had to be carefully protected, raised without blemish. Then that perfect lamb would be sacrificed, allowing the high priest to enter the holy of holies to receive a word from God for the whole nation. No pressure.

And, to top it off, the shepherds themselves were not permitted to attend the temple because, due to their work, they were considered ceremonially unclean. These were honest men working hard in the trenches whose job was SO important, but they were considered lower class in every aspect. They were humble servants.

Sometimes the world seems upside down, doesn’t it? Those who give the most sometimes receive the least recognition. Teachers spend their days shaping the future, pouring into our children, our most precious commodity…and yet their pay is often low and the honor that should be given them is dismissed. Healthcare workers serve long hours, handling messes and dealing with the emotions of patients and their loved ones. The list goes on – social workers, foster parents, firefighters, and police officers—all are humble servants who often work amid chaos, caring for others and putting themselves on the back burner.

But in today’s scripture, we see an example of God’s love and acknowledgment for every person who puts themselves out there in service to another.

The humble servants in Jesus’ day — the shepherds — had no idea as they did their job, valiantly guarding their sheep, that they were about to receive a personal greeting that would blow their socks off. Across the noisy field, a baby was being born who would change the world. That baby, God made flesh, would open the door, tearing the curtain to the holy sanctuary, allowing God’s presence to fill the earth. The God of all majesty and honor had sent His only begotten son Jesus to earth as a helpless baby to be born in a messy, smelly stable. And the shepherds, hard at work in the fields, would be the first to know.

The angels were so excited to share this awesome news! In the book of Hebrews, the angels are called ministering spirits who are sent to care for God’s people. The angels had front row seats to not only the glory of God, which we in our humanity still can not quite comprehend, but also to the fact that God, the divine, the holy, was born among humans, as a human – this was quite the turn of events! This was quite the message – surely sharing this message was one of the angels most important missions ever! And the shepherds, the hardworking yet lowly servants, were the first to be invited to the party.

Imagine the shepherds on that dark, clear night. First, they saw one angel, and then a “vast host” of angels…some versions say a “multitude of angels” – the original word is plethos (PLAY – thahs) – sounds like the English word plethora.  – meaning a large or excessive amount of. … all praising God…the angels NEEDED the shepherds to understand the magnitude of what was happening, this was urgent and exciting information. Entire armies of angels filled the sky.

That moment must have been thrilling beyond our imaginations. The glory of the Lord had returned to the earth, and the angels could not contain their joy. Verse 9 says that “the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them.”

Of course, this site would have shocked the shepherds – it would shock you and me, that’s for sure!

The first angel said, “Don’t be afraid!” and he explained himself… “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  

And that wasn’t all…the angel clearly wanted the shepherds to go and see for themselves. He told them WHERE to go and how to find the newborn savior of the world.

And then the singing started! The armies of heaven started praising God. With something so miraculous happening, how could they NOT praise God? They simply weren’t about to miss the JOY and CELEBRATION of Christ’s birth.

The angels sang, GLORY TO GOD, and peace to those with whom God is pleased!

Jesus came to bring us that sometimes seemingly elusive peace! WE, like the shepherds, are meant to experience the peace of God in our daily lives! When we please God, He gives us His peace. So what is it that pleases God? Walking with God and trusting HIS care and protection, even as we care for and protect others, brings us peace beyond all understanding. As children of God, we do not need to fear – because our God is a god of love and protection and wisdom and PEACE. He is holding His umbrella out, waiting for you to take a step under it. Our God is a fierce protector, who, once you take a step toward Him in submission, will never let you go.


The shepherds were initially afraid on that crazy night, but they listened to the good news that the angels brought, and then they ran to Jesus themselves and experienced His peace. Do you remember when you first heard about Jesus and you ran to Him? If you have, you know the peace, the excitement, the joy, that the shepherds knew on that “not so silent” night. If you don’t know God’s peace, if you haven’t yet run to Him…consider this your message…and me your messenger! The Messiah has come! Your salvation is here! You never have to go it alone in this world again! God wants you to come to Him. Run to Him, just like the shepherds did.

Jesus did the hard part. He humbled Himself, stepping down from His throne to become human. In His humanity, not only did Jesus make a way for our salvation, but by becoming one of us, He also opened a path for us to communicate with Him. You never need to be intimidated to go to Jesus. You never need to become tongue-tied around Him. You never need to be afraid. This Christmas, I pray you will run to Jesus, welcome Him into your every day, and experience His peace.

Oh HOLY God! We praise you! Glory to YOU in the highest! We thank you for ushering in peace on earth! Father, I pray for each woman listening that she may experience your peace and joy today. I pray that she will RUN to your side, experience your forgiveness, rest under the umbrella of your love. Father, thank you for sending your son to us, to this very dirty, messy earthy…to save our very dirty, messy lives. We give our lives to you, O God, and ask you to lead us where you will…we will follow. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

370. Empowering Lives with Purpose, Interview with Amber Impellizzeri and Ashley Giovannucci, Part II

By julie in Uncategorized on December 19, 2022

Please join us for part Two of “The Banner of Sexual Ethics” as Amber Impellizzeri and Ashley Giovannucci from Across My Heart share about a topic pounding our world today. Is sex before marriage ok in today’s world? Is LGBTQ and pornography acceptable and how does our society feed lies to us, contradictory to God’s design for our bodies and His intentions to have fulfillment in sex? Find out in today’s Podcast