How to help Christian workers around the world

What great insight from this friend of mine. Do you want to know how to better support Christian workers on the other side of the world? Read more!

Brave Introvert

I often think of my friends across the world that work full-time to spread the Gospel.  They have the same struggles and worries that I have: how to raise their kids to be kind, what to fix for dinner, how to make time for their spouse….BUT they live in a country that is not culturally Christian.  I would never say that the USA is full of Christians, but it is accepted.  I don’t have to worry about being arrested because of my religion.  And if I need fellow Christians to encourage me, I can go to a church just down the street and find many.
Whenever I think of them I pray for their safety, their family, and their ministry.  But very rarely do I tell them.  I wish I was better at encouraging them.  But I honestly didn’t know how.  I decided to ask several of my friends overseas…

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Clichés I Cling To!

As a teen and a woman in my 20’s, I honestly did not believe that wisdom comes with age.  I thought what I knew was enough and didn’t need the input of others.  Wow, thank God He knew what I needed and didn’t give me what my arrogant self deserved!  This got me thinking.  What if I could summarize my greatest life lessons in a short swallowable piece that even a millennial can chew!

Not only are honest, transparent life “clichés” or quotes important for others but it is also important to say who we are in brief pieces.  It keeps us from the temptation to behave as the culture and world around us defines us.  I pattern my life daily after the Bible as its words change me and from that source I have compiled my most important pieces that help keep me focused on my goals in life.  Honestly? I believe your favorite quotes and clichés say a lot about you too!

There are many ways that I have changed to become a better, happier, healthier, and easier to live with person these days but for fun I will sum them up in 10 of my favorite clichés!

1. Actions DO speak louder than words.

Eli with baby
We say we love but our arms and legs must move towards the needs of others for them to feel that love.

2. One must “peel back the layers of the onion” to really know someone.

Michael James described it best in his book The ABC Model For Personal Growth And Self Discovery. We all have layers with some deeper than others.  To live intimate whole-hearted lives that impact others, we must peel back layers with time, patience, and love.

Peeling Back Layers

3. I will be “out-of-pocket” these days.

Why is this cliché important in my life?  I control my time and nobody on this earth should be in control of my time.  This freedom keeps me from burnout and allows God to control my calendar.  With technology pulling the needs of the world into our every minute, boundaries must be set.

4. Doing less is doing more.

I will resist the tempo of the day and age I live in and walk at the pace I need to walk at.  Why? Because I want to stop and smell the flowers (or kiss the 96-year-old elephant) on the way.

kissing an old elephant

5. The only person you should try to be better than is who you were yesterday.

We know not to compare ourselves with others.  We look through friends post on Facebook and Instagram and we know to celebrate their successes and agree that not all is being revealed on their timeline.  Comparison is the thief of all joy.  But, there is still a small voice that creeps inside of us. The more time we spend looking at others lives, the more we think that this is the standard for our own.  Then we sit with phone in hand and Bible next to us.  Sometimes I think that I believe the Bible will enter me by osmosis.  Do you?  I often act that way.  How do we break the small voice inside of us comparing ourselves with others?  By filling our mind with truth throughout each and every day.  Music, Bible, positive words, are all ways to refresh and remind ourselves of who we are.

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Zen Shin

 6. Positivity is the key to longevity.

Old-Woman-Photo-by-Jennifer-Buzanowski-U.S.-Air-Force

Check out this article for some life changing perspective! 100 Year Olds Say A Positive Outlook is The Key To A Long Life

No-one can resist a smile and a smile on the outside can change our heart.  Rejoicing in everything and choosing joy as my continuous state has revived me many a times and will until the day I die.

7. It’s a matter of time.

Time does heal wounds. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut and wait and see.  I’ve learned that often the best response is to be patient but often the hardest thing to do.  I’ve learned that quiet presence can heal others more than my mouth.

8. Don’t throw him/her under a bus.

Blaming others for our situation or judging others in their situation shows immaturity, lack of faith, and a judgmental character that will make you a very lonely person.

9. It is what it is.

Lecrae is right. We have to accept what we cannot change and go on.  Though this is not a polite cliché to say to others it is often one I say to myself.  I pray that if you could walk away today with any change from reading this blog it would be this quote and reflection on from who this quote originated.

serenity prayer

Reinhold Niebuhr’s quotes are some of the most powerful and impactful quotes of the day.  From presidents to alcoholics anonymous, many lives have been changed.  His serenity prayer about acceptance is a prayer that I’ve prayed and meditated on many times. To read more, don’t miss this article: Five Things You Should Know About Reinhold Niebuhr.

10. Don’t stir the pot!

This cliché will save you from a lot of heartache and stress!  Another way to say it is “mind your own business.”  I’ve learned that being a peacemaker in ALL situations possible is the best place to be! dont-mind-me-iamiust-stirring-the-pot-com-17878785

What About Clichés in Other Cultures?

Looking at various proverbs, quotes, and clichés can reveal a lot about one’s culture and beliefs.  One of my favorite Cambodian proverbs is ចេះមកពីរៀន មានមកពីរក។ which means “You learn from studying; you gain from hard work.”

Another interesting Cambodian proverb revealing much about their belief in karma and current crisis is as follows. . .

វើល្អបានល្អ ធ្វើអាក្រក់បានអាក្រក់។

(Do good, get good.  Do bad, get bad.)

This ancient proverb has recently been changed to sarcastically describe corruption in the modern world:

វើល្អបានល្អ ធ្វើអាក្រក់បានលុយ។

(Do good, get good.  Do bad, get money.)

I find these last 2 quotes very interesting.  The first quote about doing bad or bad sounds like a good quote to live by.  But, think about what you are saying about others.  If they are experience multiple bad events in life, does it mean that they were bad and so deserve it?  Of course not.  Therefore, we have to be careful what we quote.

An American cliché to change?

There are also clichés in American culture that I would like to see changed.

“Pick yourself up by your bootstraps!” describes our individualism to a fault.   While “we can’t help everyone” excuses our lack of willingness to help another in need. Here is my addition to this cliché:

“We can’t help everyone. . . but everyone can help someone.”

Share your favorite clichés or quotes in the comments here and lets see what pearls or wisdom we can pass on to others!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Okay to Not be Okay: Broken-Heartedness as a Believer

Vulnerability and inspirational healing from a friend who has endured pain and choose surrender: Tallie Thompson

There is nothing that makes you feel lonelier than being rejected by someone who you love. Loneliness is one of the Devil’s favorite tools to use against a believer of Jesus Christ. It seems like such an ironic tool to use against someone who is never alone, but, alas, it creeps up sometimes. A single person going through a hard break up, can feel very alone, especially in the church setting. Suddenly, the topic that everyone used to speak to you about every Sunday, became an untouchable one.

“The avoidance of the subject can often feel

like an avoidance of conversation all together.”

All the sudden, you are no longer on a path towards marriage, so you are looked at and addressed differently. They may mean you no harm, but what they are doing feels to you like a demotion. These things, along with the rejection of a loved one can lead to an overbearing sense of loneliness and can make it easy to forget that you are truly never alone.

I was recently immersed in this particular deceit from the Devil when my heart was broken by my first love. Maybe you were like me and had this belief that the first person you would let yourself fall in love with would be the one God had chosen for you, and you would spend the rest of your lives together. For some people, that is how it works out. In fact, that is how it happened for what seemed like everyone around me. That is not how it happened for me. The Devil fed lies to me day and night after my break up and I willingly believed them because of the intense hurt that seemed to be swallowing me.

“I must not have been good enough. I must not have loved him as well as I should have. I must have done something wrong. I am alone. I should have seen it coming. I shouldn’t have invested as much of my heart as I did. He saw me for who I really was and he ran away.”

All lies. All from the Deceiver, yet so easily and freely accepted by a wounded soul.

But, I can also say that the love of our Father has never felt so tangible to me than it did during that time.

There was (and still is) a battle going on in my heart. As the lies were streaming in, my Father was showing His love for me fervently. I couldn’t see it at the time, but it is so obvious to me now. He surrounded me with friends and loved ones who poured their lives and love back into my empty heart. They cried with me, laughed with me, prayed with me, held me, and sat silent with me when I had no words. They were the tangible hands and feet of Jesus. I still felt every rip and tear of my heart being pulled from my chest, but they were there beside me. It was no less painful, but I was not alone. You see, when the Devil strikes hard, the Father strikes harder. As the Deceiver was pouring in lies, my Father was slowly and gently reminding me of His truths.

I am loved. He is enough. There is no flaw in me. Singleness is not being alone; it is an opportunity to be intimate with my true Husband. The man who broke my heart was not my first love, Jesus was and always will be.

One of the best ways to fight the loneliness from the Devil is talking with someone who can relate to what you’re going through. Who better to relate to than the God that has shown continuous and eternal love to a fallen world that repeatedly turns from Him? Come to find out, a lot of my friends had been through similar situations as me. The LORD put many people into my path who had stories that began with a broken heart like mine. I was so surprised to find out about these stories, that it had me wondering why I had not heard them before. Sometimes, as children of God, we feel we must put on this image that we have everything under control. That our lives are perfectly put together and planned. That is not the case at all. As a child of the Savior you can admit that you do not have everything under control, because you know the one who does.  That’s when I came to realize:

It is okay to not be okay.

Although I do not know what God has planned for my future, I do know that He has me. If you are going through something similar, I would encourage you to choose to take this time to let God establish who you are as an individual. Accept that He will bring someone into your life at the right time. Or not. Part of trusting God’s plan for your life is being content with being single, (deep breath) forever. Wow, that was daunting to write, and I can imagine it was just as daunting to read.  Let’s reflect on that for a second.

You may be thinking: “Tallie, God created man and woman to have companionship. He created me with a desire to love and serve a husband/wife, so why do I have to be okay with being single forever? I thought we were supposed to be fighting loneliness, not embracing it?” Hear me on this! Being content with being a single person is different from not desiring a spouse and it does not mean that you are content with being lonely.

I met a girl the other day who in telling me about herself and said something along these lines; “There isn’t a man in my life currently, but I am okay with that for now.” Normally I wouldn’t have thought twice about this statement, because I have heard it so many times; I’ve even used it myself. But for once, I let myself truly hear what she was saying. She was putting a condition on God. For now, she is content with being single, but at what point is she “not okay” with it?

Contentedness is not something that has an expiration date. If you are truly content with being single, then you are content forever.

Let me make myself clear. Marriage is a beautiful blessing from God and it should be cherished and desired. However, it is not the only thing and should not be desired above a relationship with the Father (that is called idolatry). Just ask any married person. The focus should not be on, “Why haven’t I met my spouse yet?”, or “Why couldn’t they love me like I loved them?” but on what God has truly called you to. In Matthew 28, the LORD gives us this command: “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you”. If your focus is on that, then God will bless you in ways you would have never imagined on your own. Who knows, that blessing may be a husband or wife who loves you so much better than the person you thought you’d marry. The battle with the loneliness of the Devil is a daily one; it is not going to be easy but it will get easier the more you fight it.  The LORD ends the great commission with a little encouragement that I would like to leave you with as well.

“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The Secret To Intentional, Purposeful Living

“I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”  Issac Newton English mathematician & physicist (1642 – 1727)

Deep down, we all desire to be influential and purposeful in life.  But, how can we in this day and age?  It seems that relationships are more shallow than ever before.  Time for devotion and prayer seems less and less.  With the world at our fingertips, our attention span can barely hold on for any dialogue with depth.  This is why I write today.  I’ve come to realize that my time on this earth is short and everyday must count.  Second, I am unique.  You are unique.  We all have things to contribute to those around us in this world.  Lastly, the people in my circle are there for a reason.  The people I interact with today are people that God put into my life to be in relationship with me.

I used to be shallow. When I was young, being popular and accepted was too important to me.  I often behaved not like myself, but rather, like others I thought were prettier than me.  This only worked to bring me happiness when times were good, but when I hit a low spot, I found myself to be very lonely.  My relationships had no depth.  They were based merely on fun.  I’ve changed a lot since then.  I’d like to share with you the intentional changes I made in my life in order to live each day purposeful.  Living in constant aim towards my goals and also being the person I am and want to be.

What is Being Deep?

Being deep, is giving all of your mind and effort towards what is in front of you at each present moment.  Being deep is being present in that moment not thinking about other things, nor planning what you want to say, not looking at your phone, and not worrying about the future.  Going deep means putting aside your own feelings and putting yourself in the place of the one in front of you.  Its intentional, takes effort, and therefore is rewarding.

“Do not pity the dead Harry. Pity the living, and above all those who live without love.” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Being Deep In Our Relationships With Others

In order to be intentional in relationships, we have to be prepared mentally for what is ahead.  If not prepared, we participate in our interaction with others based on how we feel at that moment instead of interacting in a way that is who we want to be.

TIP: I often start the beginning of my week thinking with excitement about those that I know I will interact with.  I pray for them.  I pray that I could have an opportunity to help them in some way.  I focus on the good about them and about our meeting no matter what the situation is.  Every meeting is an opportunity for good.  Every circumstance I encounter, my Father is in control.  Therefore, I have nothing to fear.

TIP: What about friends online?  I live across the world from most of my friends.  Therefore, I have chosen to take seriously my social media times.  I am intentional at engaging others.  I think about their posts and how to comment in a way that is uplifting and good.  I post what I want to share with intentionality to be vulnerable yet positive for others. I have certain times of the day that I devote myself to friends on social media and I do so with prayer and joy.

Lastly, reflection is a must in being intentional in relationships.  When going from one setting to another, a time of reflection and prayer is often necessary.  For example, when I leave work and am returning home, I often pull aside to take a moment and think about the circumstances of work that are bothering me.  I pray for each one and plan for the next day.  After feeling a sense of release, I continue my way home where my family is waiting for my attention.  You know what?  I am able to walk in that house and give them what they need with all my mind!  I have found that this time is key to living in the present and enjoying each moment.  Find ways to clear your mind so that you can give your attention to those who need it.

Go Deep: Plan for it.  Be it.  Reflect on it.

Being Deep In Our Relationship With God

Think about how incredible and exciting our spiritual walk would be if we treated each interaction with our Savior with the same depth described above!  Are your times of devotion and meditation much shorter than they should be?  Sometimes mine are too!  What if we stop sitting there in guilt about the short amount of time we gave God that day and instead set apart our feelings and place every thought on Him!  What about emphasizing quality over quantity this week and see the results in our spiritual walk.

Being present and deep with God is an incredible way to start your day.

TIP: When singing a song of worship, put all of your mind on Him.  Focusing on the words.

TIP: When praying for a need, spend time on that need with Him taking on His perspective over your own feelings and lack of belief.  Ask for His perspective on your need.

TIP: In intercession, pray for the lost in a way that takes it to a God sized response.  Such as praying to feel the burden of their lostness so you can better pray better for the lost.  Or that you could be instrumental in bringing that person towards salvation.

Quality prayers that are thoughtful and deep indicate 2 things: great faith and humility.  Humility says I need time with you.  I need your heart for this.  Pride says “you got 5 minutes” and efforts are in human strength.

prayer

Where Else Could We Apply Depth?

  • Hug tighter and longer!
  • Give more, sacrificially.
  • Engage further by friending new people.
  • Pray for opportunities each morning to impact others lives for good!
  • Practice listening nonverbally with your eyes, body, and expressions in every conversation today!
  • Forgive others and apologize with depth, whole heartedness, and intentionality.
  • Rest well.
  • Exercise wholeheartedly.

2 Things That Were Holding Me Back From A Deep, Intentional,  And Purposeful Life

Lack of Contentment

The first step to being intentional is being content.  Without contentment, we will always long for things not within our grasp or our good.  Everything is against you in the battle of contentment.  The world is constantly telling you that there is more to be had and that you deserve it.  How does one become content?  This is where purposeful living and prayer come together.  First, we have to admit our failure in being content and admit our need for spiritual intervention. The root of lack of contentment is selfishness.  With selfishness, it is impossible to put our thoughts and feelings aside for the sake of another. We have to give without expecting or hoping for something back.  This is contentment.  This only comes through prayer.

Shallow Living

What is shallow living?  It is skipping from one thing to another without going deep. Shallow living is one of the sneakiest and most common ways to steal our abundant living.  Flipping through Facebook without deeply engaging others, ignoring a friend in need, and choosing not to put effort into relationships with family and friends are a few examples of shallow living.  

Shallow spiritual living is doing rituals or activities without contemplating the daily application and making the changes in your life.  Shallow living may feel easy but not when the heat is turned up!

impossible

Casting Vision!

What you will find, is that the deeper you go, the happier you are.  The more intentional you are in your daily activities, the more peOple will see and like YOU! The more intentional you live by planning for it, being it, and reflecting on it, the more you will meet all of your goals in life!  Go get em!  And, please share with me what you will be intentional about today.

 

 

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