Lorri Dudley

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

Tag: Opportunities

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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Frog heart sculpture

Go Ahead and Look Foolish

“Excuse me, sir. May I have the honor of brushing your hair?” Beth Moore tells a story of being in an airport and seeing an elderly man with long, ratty, unkempt hair. As she waited for the boarding call, God nudged her to brush an elderly man hair. No way, she argued with Jesus, but He wouldn’t leave her alone until she approached the man with the strange suggestion. The elderly man consented, and after she worked out all the tangles, she noticed he was crying. It turns out the man had been in the hospital and was flying home to see his wife. God knew the man had been embarrassed about his messy appearance and needed his hair brushed before he returned home to his bride. Because Beth Moore obeyed and was brave enough to appear foolish asking a man if she could brush his hair at the airport, an elderly man’s prayers were answered.
Don’t let fear of feeling foolish kept you from God’s blessing. “In God I have put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Psalms 56:11NIV
I haven’t done anything as extreme as asking to brush a stranger’s hair. But, there have been times when I’ve wrestled with God because I didn’t want to appear foolish. I’ve argued with Him about not wanting to hug a stranger. I’ve explained to Him that there is a big difference between writing and public praying because you can’t go back and edit spoken words to make them sound better, but He told me to pray anyway. He’s asked me to reach out to old high school acquaintances and complete strangers.  Sadly, sometimes, I haven’t obeyed, but the times that I have, I’m not certain who was blessed more, the person I was prompted to help or me.
Trust God’s bigger plan. Don’t let pride stand in your way. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” – Hebrews 10:35-36 NIV
Noah probably felt foolish building an ark in the desert. Sarah probably looked foolish knitting baby booties at age ninety. The Israelites probably felt silly silently marching around Jericho ready to crumble the walls down with their trumpet blasts. King Saul and two armies thought David foolish for going after a giant with nothing but a slingshot. And I’m certain the blind man probably felt awkward hearing Jesus spit into the mud and standing there while he rubbed it on the man’s eyes.
I don’t don’t believe God uses these scenarios to get a good laugh. These are opportunities for us to humble ourselves to let it all ride on God’s plan. It allows God to grow bigger in our lives and for us to become smaller. And, history has shown, God will reward those who aren’t afraid to obey his prompting.
So go ahead, be brave enough to be foolish.
Olympics symbol

No Snow, No Problem

There they stood teetering at the top of the steps, big smiles on their faces, ready for the treacherous challenge…

Wait… Let me backtrack a little. My family enjoys watching the winter Olympics. During the last winter Olympics in Sochi, we spent family time watching the Women’s freestyle skiing mogul event. If you’re not familiar with it, moguls are artificially made snow bumps that the skiers maneuver through like a gauntlet using turning techniques which is 50% of the score. The rest consists of 25% air stunts and 25% speed. It was the first time my kids had seen anything like it, and we were all glued to the screen cheering on the American competitors.

Soon, however, I noticed the room had grown quiet. My husband and I looked about for the kids, only to find all three boys at the top of the stairs standing on our toy box cushion. They were prepped and ready to try their own mogul course with the pillow as their makeshift skiis and the steps as the moguls. After recovering from heart palpitations, I asked them if they thought this was a good idea. Each responded, “I can do it,” without any hesitation.

All I thought about was the chance of injury. The high probability of not only failure but painful bone breaking failure, resulting in our spending the weekend in the ER. I must admit, though, I liked their attitude.

When I heard about the Nigerian Women’s Bobsled team, I flashed back to this Nigerian women's bobsled team competeting in 2018 Olympicsmemory. Yes, Nigeria has never had a bobsled team. Yes, no country on the African continent has ever qualified for the Olympics. Yes, Nigeria’s climate is considered tropical. Yet, these three amazing women said, “We can do it.”

A lack of snow didn’t stop them. Adigun, their brakeman, built a bobsleigh for training purposes (nicknamed the Mayflower) that runs on track, turf, and other surfaces. Adigun was quoted by a CNN as saying, “We want to be able to be something that people can really be able to be proud of.”

So how do we gain back our “we can do it” attitude? How do we face life’s trials and opportunities with the faith of David as he faced Goliath?  It’s all in how we look at ourselves. When we look in the mirror, we see our weaknesses. The devil goes to town with it. He reminds us of our past failures, makes us think we’re not good enough, or don’t have what it takes. But, when we look in the mirror, what we should see God’s reflection peering back at us. We need to realize the Holy Spirit dwells within us, and it’s in God’s power not our strength. God has prepared in advance the work he has for us (Ephesian 2:10). He has given us what we need for this moment (2 Peter 1:3).

Let me leave you with one last quote from Onwumere, Adigun’s teammate from the Nigerian Bobsled team.

“This journey has taught me that self-improvement is on a continuum. Even when we get to the Olympics, it’s still like, “What happens next?” And that’s what life is about, just always wanting to improve.”

So what does God have next for you?

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