The Podcasts

Leading the Follower is the pet project of Author and Publisher, Rebecca Benston of Higher Ground Books & Media (HGBM). You can check out the latest releases from HGBM here. Be sure to stop by this page often to check out our latest podcasts!

Podcasts Coming Soon!

Podcast Intro- Rebecca Benston 12.12.2020

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Resource – Available now on Audible! Love’s Resurrection by Daniel K. Held

Here is an excerpt from one of our newest audio releases at Higher Ground Books & Media! Love’s Resurrection by Daniel K. Held.

Excerpt of Love’s Resurrection by Daniel K. Held, Narrated by Todd A. Thompson

You can get your copy on Audible!

Seven Days to Higher Ground – Now on YouTube!

The Seven Days to Higher Ground video series has been moved to our YouTube page. You can access them there! Be sure to subscribe for notifications of future videos!

A Tribute to Joe Siccardi, HGBM Author

In memory of our friend, Joe Siccardi, we wanted to share an audio excerpt from his book, My Name is Sam…And Heaven is Still Shining Through. This one is a tear-jerker, but an awesome listen from an awesome author. He passed away unexpectedly in December. Rest in peace, Joe. Thanks for all of your encouragement and wonderful storytelling.

My Name is Sam…And Heaven is Still Shining Through by Joe Siccardi, Narrated by Kirsten Kopp

Everyone’s a critic…

How do you handle a heckler on social media? In this podcast, I’m talking about my experience with a rather bitter gentleman on MeWe who decided that it was his job to label me as a crook because he didn’t like that I had posted a promo for my business in one of the groups I recently joined. Everyone posts their promos, so it wasn’t out of line to post it. Being new to the group, I’m also very careful about the things I post because I don’t want people to think I’m some weird stalker who is out looking for victims. This is very much not the case. I’m just a single mother who has a business that she’s trying to promote and I put the word out where I can in order to try and bring in new business. This guy didn’t know me and he had never contacted me or done business with me, so who knows what prompted his attack. Some people are just contrary. In any case, I confronted him and here’s what happened…

Please pay no attention to the lack of theatrics applied to my audio/videos. I am still learning how to make these things pretty. One day, I’ll have all the bells and whistles, but for now you’ll just have to settle for plain, old me.

“I felt that people needed to see the whole conversation. They need to see what he said and my response to it.”

Rebecca Benston

First Chapter Fridays!

Welcome back! Today we begin our First Chapter Fridays! Every Friday, we’ll be sharing the first chapter of one of HGBM’s (our sister site’s) audio-book releases.

We’re going to start with one of my favorites, The Power of Knowing by Jean Walters. Narrated by Kelly Dugger, this book offers practical techniques and exercises to assist the reader to still his mind and move into a deep mental (spiritual) state of connection to higher consciousness. It is about mastering the mind, releasing conflict, forgiveness, and achieving an objective, peaceful view of life and circumstances. It is about transformation from fear to love. Enjoy this first chapter and then go to this link to buy your copy to hear the rest of this awesome audio-book!

First Chapter Fridays – The Bottom of This by Tramaine Hannah

Narrated by Sara Moser Bartlett. Nattalie Blythe lives in sunny California but can never seem to escape the shadow of her family problems. Her only refuge is the bond she shares with her twin brother, Nathan. But after she is horribly violated by their cousin, even he cannot rescue her from the war raging in her mind as she struggles to reconcile the existence of a good God with the pain she’s endured. Finally, giving up her faith completely, she feels a satisfying sense of freedom. Now, without the threat of eternal punishment from God hanging over her head she plots the ultimate revenge. Plunged to the very bottom of moral deprivation, she will come face to face with the darkness in her own heart and realize that grace is a gift for us all.

Get your copy on Audible!

First Chapter Fridays-Chronicles of a Spiritual Journey by Stephen Shepherd

Chronicles of a Spiritual Journey is a collection of uplifting, inspirational stories from one man’s walk with God. Listen to the first chapter here! This title is available now on Audible!

First Chapter Fridays: The Music Murder Industry by A.R. Ratliff

Joe Ruddy (rhymes with bloody) was a former military policeman. New to the Dallas Police Department and even newer to the detective division, Joe found himself being assigned to all the shitty cases the veterans did not want to investigate. Joe was a self-conscious alcoholic who wrote songs and sang in bars and honky tonks. He did not consider himself a professional singer but enjoyed singing as a hobby. His hobby made Joe the prime candidate for reopening an old homicide case. While investigating the assassin style murder of a C&W singer who had been shot while performing on a Dallas stage, Joe finds himself uncovering leads in the hills of Kentucky and in Music City, USA. Wild dreams that he tries to ignore lead Joe to solving other murders and a kidnapping in Nashville. His wild hunches and un-orthodox investigative techniques allow Joe to discover clues that only his wild imagination could comprehend. When Joe becomes personally involved in the recording industry, lives with the beauty, glamour, jealousy and death in Nashville, he is inclined to suspect that there is more murder than music going on in the industry.

You can get the rest of the story here.

First Chapter Fridays! Slumberland by Derra Nicole Sabo

How do you dream? Are your dreams in color or black ‘n white? Do they feel surreal or all too real?Well, I’d like to introduce you to my little slice of bittersweet. These subconscious woods hold every fear and my anxieties masked are as wolves. Nightmares that play on a loop for weeks, even months at a time. Symptoms of waking in cold sweats and shaking. The only moments of peace are found in the sporadically studded dreams that happen every now and again. These woods house every past demon as well as certain past versions of who I once was. This place is worse than death, yet it inspires. So……Before my alarm goes off, before I take the last train out of here, I take one last glance back, one last glance at all of the Polaroids, pinned to every tree branch, Polaroids of every dream and nightmare that have stolen my nights since ’95……These dreams…these woods…this place…it’s my upside-down. This is my Slumberland…

Get your copy of Slumberland on Audio here.

First Chapter Fridays! Out of Darkness by Stephen Bowman

Out of Darkness is a story of rebirth. It is a story about a person living for many years in the dark. Finally freed, they are given another chance. A chance to be born again and live a new life. A true rebirth!

Author, Stephen Bowman is a 57 year-old child of God.  He’s battled addiction, depression and catastrophic illness.  A counselor and licensed clergyman, he enjoys working with and helping people.  

You can get your copy of the audiobook here!

Wishing you a Happy Easter!

Unfortunately, I missed last Friday’s post for First Chapter Fridays. I have been dealing with a nasty case of bronchitis and I just didn’t make it online in time to get that to you. So, this week, I’m sharing two books! The first is by Mark Etter. 32 Days with Christ’s Passion is an awesome devotional that you’ll definitely want to add to your list for upcoming reads. The second is by me, Rebecca Benston. I’ll be sharing from the third book in the Rona Shively Stories series, Keeping the Faith. I hope you will enjoy these two “First Chapters” and that you and your family enjoy the rest of Holy Week and Easter Sunday!

First Chapter Fridays! 32 Days with Christ’s Passion by Mark Etter

The passion of Jesus was our salvation. Follow the steps of Jesus from before Holy Week to the cross and to the empty tomb. Ponder the meaning of His passion for you and walk beside Him seeing details of the passion that you never saw before. Each lesson with questions to personalize the message of the text. You will never see the passion story the same way again as you gain insights into what Jesus did for you and for me.

Narrated by Dale Elliott, you can get the rest of the story on Audible at the link below:

First Chapter Fridays! Keeping the Faith: The Rona Shively Stories by Rebecca Benston

The third book in the Rona Shively Stories mystery series. Rona Shively needs something. She’s not sure what it is, but she knows it’s something. her father is in the hospital, her relationships are in the toilet, and her career is going nowhere. Summoned home by a mother she hates, she heads back to Ohio to check on things. When she gets there, her mother asks her to help out a local reverend who is a long time friend of the family. What should have been a simple harassment case turns into a tangled mess and Rona soon finds herself surrounded by greed, corruption and criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want. With the help of a handsome, local P.I., she tries to piece it all together before the bad guys figure out she’s looking. Through it all, can she “keep the faith?”

Narrated by Susan Carlson, you can get the rest of the story on Audible at the link below!

Happy Easter from Leading the Follower and Higher Ground Books & Media!

Happy Easter to you and yours! Please enjoy this quick podcast today for a bit of inspiration on this Easter Sunday! Thanks so much for stopping by!

First Chapter Fridays! Man Made by Grace by Willie Deeanjlo White

Man Made by Grace is a play on the concept of how to become a man of God and the grace that God has given to man.

Acknowledging Christ in 1993 was a decision that at the time I believed that I did on my own, for myself, but nothing could have been farther from the truth. It is and was the awesome love of God that drew me into awareness of the need, but it was the foundation of love that prepared me for his grace.

We often say that God does not need me, and we tell our children that it is their freedom to choose what they believe. It is in those traps of low self-worth, independency, and freedom of choice that Satan is gaining leverage. God has spoken to me with many plans to break the bondages of the adversary, and in this audiobook we take the journey of revealing the truths of interdependency and brotherhood strengths needed to nurture and develop the attributes of the God-centered man. Each one teach one…we need each other…”Iron Sharpeneth Iron”!

You can get the rest of the story on Audible!

First Chapter Fridays! Awakening by Nancy Flinchbaugh

For those seeking a spiritual deepening and a way to respond to the challenges of our time, this book offers a path close to the heart of God. A challenge to awaken unfolds through ten spiritual practices for the journey. Beginning with sitting meditation, the book explores myriad ways to enter the silence, including walking the labyrinth, engaging in sacred conversation, cultivating gratitude, divine reading (lectio divina) with sacred texts and nature, mindful eating, listening contemplatively throughout the day, participating in contemplative rituals and engaging in centered action. Drawing on her personal experience as a contemplative, the author offers a poem, a rationale and introduction for each practice. Included in these reflections are “Letters from the Earth” that the author has received about each practice.

You can get your copy on Audible.

First Chapter Fridays! The Wild Camper Family by Timothy D. Starnes

Five siblings live a happy life out of an abandoned camper in a national forest – cooking by the fire, foraging their own food, washing their own clothes, tending their own camp – the only problem is that they aren’t sure where their parents are – and that they’ve caught a mysterious shadow watching them from the edge of the woods. They’ve gotten on this far by staying together, cooperating, and making it work – but as the problems pile on, will this family of children, with the eldest member being no older than a middle grader, set loose in the wild, make it out together? The outdoor skills and knowledge they possess just may be the key in their toolkit to unlocking the mysteries surrounding them.

Get the rest of the story on Audible!

Don’t forget to tune in to this week’s episode of the Leading the Follower podcast! Today’s Pondering~Speak for Yourself is now available on Spotify!

Photo by Anna Shvets on

First Chapter Fridays! Forgiven and Not Forgotten by Terra Kern!

“Forgiven and Not Forgotten” is the story of the author’s relationship with God since her childhood combined with revelations from the Holy Spirit of what He is doing in this present season. In writing this book, God led her to revisit her past, including the dark seasons she would have preferred to have left buried and the times she rushed on with her life leaving Him standing in the dust. He revealed to her how He was working behind the scenes to bring her to a predestined place in Him. God has revealed through the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Spirit what season, we, the body of Christ, find ourselves in today and what exciting things lay just ahead for His people.

Hear the rest of the story at Audible!

First Chapter Fridays! Wise Up to Rise Up by Rebecca Benston

Wise Up to Rise Up by Rebecca Benston is a guide for those who are trying to figure out where their heart lies. By examining what is currently taking up space in our hearts and minds, we can begin to shift our direction and aim toward pursuing our higher purpose.

You can listen to the rest of the book on Audible!

First Chapter Fridays! The Real Prison Diaries by Judy Frisby

In 2014, Mackenzie Basham dropped her little boy off at her Mother’s house on a Friday night, and never returned. The following week her family saw 19-year-old Mackenzie’s mug shot on the local evening news channel, she has not been home since. This is the true story of Mackenzie’s mother’s personal diaries to her daughter through years of her incarceration, and Mackenzie’s letters written back. They grieve one another yet still alive, as well as tackle issues of drug abuse, suicide, homosexuality, family acceptance, violence, prison rape, police corruption, and her child growing up without any parents. This story makes you feel like you are sitting in the prison cell afraid to close your eyes some nights, as well as Mackenzie describing the mental and physical torture many women inmates endure while in a state prison in the U.S. The book also puts you in the frame of mind of a shattered mother who has watched a perfectly beautiful child spiral from her pride and joy down to hit rock bottom into their very own living hell.

Get the rest of the story today on Audible!

First Chapter Fridays! Everything You Wanted to Know About the Heroes in Blue by Charlotte Hopkins

This week’s First Chapter Friday feature is Everything You Wanted to Know About the Heroes in Blue by Charlotte Hopkins, Narrated by Andrea Watkins. You can get the full audio-book on Audible!

The wall between society and those with the potential to cause harm is made up of the men and women in blue.

Inside this book is a tribute to their endless hours, hidden pain, and tears shed in silence. They protect a community that curses them one day and then thanks them the next. This selfless act is done daily by heroes who never ask for or expect a “thank you.” They just want to protect and serve the innocent. They long to do their part in keeping society safe for the rest of us.

First Chapter Fridays! From a Hole in My Life to a Life Made Whole by Janet Kay Teresa

From a Hole in My Life to a Life Made Whole by Janet Kay Teresa, narrated by Kathleen Stull.

A Note from the Author:

I would like very much to be able to take full credit for the inspiration of writing this book. I am unable to do that because I do not feel that I am capable of coming up with this particular idea. It was a Divine gift. During a time when I was going through profound spiritual experiences, the thought gently came to me to write about it. I shared this with my Pastor and his response was a simple one, “Why not?” So, it has grown from there.

Get the rest of the story on Audible.

First Chapter Fridays! The Silent Destruction by Yasmin S. Brown.

The Silent Destruction by Yasmini S. Brown. Narrated by Rae Wallace.

Innocence snatched away by hands of betrayal and violation of her youth. Silenced through fear, guilt and denial Taquayasia suffers alone. Jailed by the acts of those close to her she loses self-love, self-worth, and self-confidence. Tortured by her thoughts manifested into self-destructive behavior, unhealthy relationships and mental spiral. This book creates interaction, conversations and education to break the barrier of silence.

Hear the rest on Audible!

First Chapter Fridays! Anomaly by Derra Nicole Sabo

It’s 3 a.m….While most minds are in a blissful state of slumber, mine is wide awake conjuring and pondering endless thoughts. Eyes are fixated on the dark popcorn ceiling above and ears are soaking in blue tunes as my autopilot mind becomes overwhelmed with the past, future and every cherry topped dream in between. These thoughts range from warm and fuzzy to dark and slightly crippling. Sometimes I wish that my mind had an off switch so that I could power down at night. No such luck. So, wakie wakie! Grab yourself a coffee and a snack because it’s 3 a.m. and I have so many thoughts to share with you.

Hear the rest of the story on Audible!