Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Actions

New England Patriots

We’re Still Here!

New England Patriots lead by Tom Brady

Over the last month, “We’re still here!” has become the mantra of the New England PatriotsTom Brady, who has been called old man, washed up, peaked, and diminished, showed America he still has plenty in his tank when he and the Patriots worked together to win Superbowl LIII.

 Tom Brady, loved or hated, has to be admired for the fact he doesn’t accept being mediocre. He refuses to quit. He didn’t throw in the towel when he was the 199th sixth-round draft pick back in 2000. He wasn’t content to stay in Drew Bledsoe’s shadow. He wasn’t complacent after one Superbowl win, or a second, or third. Even after a record of six Superbowl wins, he still has no plans to retire.

Tom Brady doesn’t just coast through life and neither should we.

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6). It doesn’t mean only praise God when we’re in the mood or on the good days when we have more energy. It doesn’t state until you’ve read the Bible all the way through, led a church group, or taught Sunday school. It says if you have breath praise the Lord, and I can pretty much guarantee that if you’re reading this you still have breath. 

You’re still here. 

It is not a time to coast or grow complacent. We are to keep fighting the good fight until Jesus takes us home. Now, I’m not saying to grab a soapbox and go out and start preaching on a street corner, nor am I meaning to guilt you into taking on additional responsibilities. What I am asking is to look for opportunities to praise God through your words, actions, and deeds. If you keep your eyes peeled and your heart available God will provide.

Each season is unique.

Tom Brady doesn’t play the same way he did back in 2001. He has adapted to different players, strategies, and his own physical body. My husband and I are also not able to serve in our church in the same capacity we did before we had children. With the kids evening sports schedules, we can’t even participate the same as we did when they were young. But we still have breath, and God has given us other avenues unique to this season for us to be able to praise him and be salt and light to others.

Tom Brady throwing football
Tom Brady

How is God calling you in this season? Is He tapping you on the shoulder saying, “remember me? Come back to me. My arms are open wide.” Or is He nudging you to challenge yourself in other ways: lead a church group, bring a meal to a neighbor, watch a single mom’s kids, encourage a co-worker, write a blog. God works in mysterious ways, and He has a way of fitting you into that plan.

Because you have breath,

And, because you’re still here.

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Showing Vs. Telling - homework page

The Dreaded Show Vs. Tell: Why It Can Improve All Aspects of Life.

Show don’t tell.

The dreaded words that baffle many writers. They’ve been marked in red pen in the margins of my manuscripts. Hence, when my son handed me his school paper, a gasp escaped my lips. My jaw fell slack, and my eyes widened. I blinked as words blurred on the page then refocused. (See what I did there instead of typing I was shocked?) Here’s his schoolwork page:Showing Vs. Telling - homework page

Bam, and just like that my son learned showing versus telling.

Simple, easy-peasy.

Even as I self-edit, I’ll still find places where I’m telling my readers what they should feel instead of showing them through description and allowing them to experience their own emotions. If it is that simple, why are there entire books written on the topic? Why do I occasionally let it slip into my writing?

Because it’s easier to tell. It takes fewer words. It gets to the point. It doesn’t require any emotional involvement.

It got me thinking. How much of my life is telling instead of showing?

  • Do I take the time to show people I love them?
  • Do I tell people they are forgiven or do I demonstrate how I’ve forgiven them?
  • Do I tell people I’m going to pray for them, or do I take a moment and actually pray with them?

One of the most impactful things I learned from leading a church group was from an instructional video that came with the curriculum. It said your group will only be as open as their leader. If you are vulnerable, your group will open up. If you answer questions generically, so will your group. To lead my group effectively, I had to become emotionally involved. It would have been easier to just preach, but I wanted the group to go deeper, so I had to set the tone and lead by example.

My husband has consciously decided to never say the words, “You know what you need to do …” Instead, he has trained himself to say, “I was in a similar experience, and I handled it this way …” By describing his own experience, he’s allowing the people he interacts with to draw what they need from his past mistakes and to form their own conclusions. If he merely told them what they need to do, most of them would jump on the offensive. Some may go through the motions and take the advice, but the idea would never be their own. Within my husband’s business dealings, he too has learned to show instead of tell.

Don’t get me wrong there is a place for telling. In fiction, it’s usually used to show time passing or to skip through some of the boring parts, but it doesn’t convey the same feeling as showing. It doesn’t generate the same buy-in.

God too understands showing versus telling. It’s why He sent his son to earth to show us His great love. I believe it’s why he gave us free will. God is all-powerful. He could easily tell us, “You will worship me,” but He wants us to willingly choose to love Him. He wants our emotional buy-in. So, He chose to demonstrate His love through His grace and mercy.

1 John 4:9-11, not only sums it up but also calls us into action, “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.”

How can you show God’s love today?

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Disney's Pocahontas

Personality Check

We’ve all done them. Whether it’s a disc profile for a work interview, a questionnaire for a class, or even a small quiz at the back of a magazine, we’ve most likely been exposed to personality tests. It was practically a requirement for psychology majors, so I’ve taken about every personality test out there: Disc, Myers-Briggs, Sensation Seeking Scale, Strength’s Finder, and more. The tests help us understand different aspects of ourselves and how we respond to various Disney's Pocahontasenvironments or situations. They can even tell you what Disney princess you’d be.

As it turns out, I would be Pocahontas.

I took the Disney Princess Personality quiz, and it told me because I defy convention, am loyal, and stubborn if I were to be a Princess I’d be Pocahontas. I question the accuracy of the results, but it’s always interesting. (If you’re curious, I’m putting the link for the quiz at the end of the post.)

Personality tests may tell you your Disney Princess persona, but they don’t define you. Your actions define you.

Per the Myers-Briggs, I might be an introvert prone to feelings, intuition, and perception, but if you asked anyone who greets with me at the front door of our church, they’d tell you I’m the hugger. It’s what I do, and the goal of our greeting team is to not let anyone pass through those doors without feeling acknowledged, accepted, and welcomed. Because people are important to God, they are important to us.

American Diplomat Dwight Morrow said, “We judge ourselves by our ideals, but we judge others by their actions.”

It’s our actions that speak the loudest.

There have been times when I have had the best intentions, to make a meal for a neighbor, donate to a cause, or to go on a mission trip, but it didn’t happen. I’m comforted that God sees my heart, but I know that without my taking action I’m not spreading God’s love. I’m foregoing the blessing of being the hands and feet of Jesus to bless others. In not acting I could be missing the someone who may be desperate for a supernatural love. That is what gets me off my tuckus. It should compel us. It’s what should drive us to want to help others. So that our actions will point to Jesus.

I know I mess up. I put my needs first. I get busy, and you may too. But if it’s important to God, then it should be important to us.

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

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If you’d want to know which Disney Princess you’d be, click on this link: Disney Princess Quiz

 

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