Introvert Insight

My pastor recently said that when searching for a way to serve in the church you naturally wouldn’t put an introvert on the host team.  I am an introvert and I am on the host team.  Being introverted doesn’t mean that we hide in a hole of shy loneliness all day.  We just don’t need to constantly feed off the attention of others to maintain our happiness.

Julia Shappert | Official Blog

It is no lie. I am an introvert. I don’t think there is anyone I know who wouldn’t consider me quiet, reserve, and introspective. In many cases, this is true but definitely not all the time. Sometimes, I feel like introverts are viewed in a less-than-positive way from the more outgoing crowd. It is a shame that we (on behalf of introverts) are easily misinterpreted as shy, antisocial, and even snotty. But, hopefully this article shows our side of the story. 🙂

1.) We over think things…a lot. It’s almost like we are living in a separate world where all of our thoughts just explode and evolve into millions of deep scenarios, which can lead to anxiety. We might be silent on the outside but our brains don’t seem to relax.

2.) We speak up when necessary. If we are passionate about something, there is no stopping us voicing our…

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6 Things Christians Should Say More Often

Gospel Relevance

When was the last time you told someone you loved them?

Last week I wrote an article citing six Christian cliches that I think, quite frankly, Christians should just stop saying. Growing traction quickly, I was surprised to see the post go viral (well, sorta, not really), and to see so many Christians in agreement (and disagreement).

With that said, however, I think a follow-up post is necessary, in which we discuss some things that Christians should say more often.

What are they?

Here’s six things Christians should say more frequently:

1) I don’t know. God is all-knowing, but we are not. When we pretend as if we know the answer, when we really don’t, we diminish our credibility. Not only that, we also hurt the people we speak to. Here’s a new idea: When someone asks a question and we don’t know the answer, it might be wise to…

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6 Things Christians Should Stop Saying

I have heard every single one of these in some form or another, and it drives me crazy. Yes, as Christians we love God. We know he is always with us, and we want others to experience that same love. But why do we insist on turning everything in life, including God, into a cliche? We come off sounding insincere and fake. God is not a catchy tag line, like singing jingles for car dealers and toy stores. By having so little respect for Him you are diminishing Him in your own eyes and in the eyes of nonbelievers who may be watching you. Too often I see people I go to church with post on Facebook after service, “God really showed up and showed out this morning.” I know what they mean, but to read their post in the literal sense they make it sound like God is not always in our church. And the phrase, “show out” to me has negative meaning. As in, “my child got in trouble at school today for showing out in music class.” Why can’t we speak from our heart? Why do we look for the easiest way out by resorting to insincere cliches when speaking of our love for God? How would we feel if God treated us like a cliche?

Until next time . . .

Gospel Relevance

We all have that one friend that consistently says cheesy Christians clichés. I think most of us would agree that this is typically, well, very annoying. This is intensified when the sayings aren’t biblical. The motive behind saying them are usually noble, but they often simply aren’t true or helpful.

So, what are some of them?

Below are six things that Christians should stop saying:

1) Let Go and let God.  This phrase is typically used when in a trial. In a sense, I adore the “letting go” part if that means resting in God’s sovereignty, but when facing trials and tribulations, there are simply a lot of things that we can actually do. We can pray, study Scripture, confess sin, repent of sin, seek help from wise counsel, weep, mediate on Scripture, serve others, etc. “Letting go” has too much of a passive feel to it; it denotes that we…

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I Am

I-AM

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”  (Exodus 3:14, NIV)  (courtesy of biblehub.com)

I recently started a women’s bible study at church based on “Unglued” by Lysa TerKeurst.  Last night the woman leading the group said something that stuck with me . . .

Her:  “What is God’s name?”

Us:  “I Am.”

Her:  “So when you look in the mirror and say, ‘I am ugly.  I am stupid.  I am not good enough.  I am weak.  I am inadequate,’ are you not taking the Lord’s name in vain?  If God is I Am then by calling yourself ugly, stupid, not good enough, weak, inadequate, or any other negative thing you say or think about yourself, you are saying the same thing to God.”

Us:  **stunned silence**

God created us in His image, but too often women look in the mirror and what we see makes us sad, disappoints us.  It’s not just what we see physically that makes us say awful things to ourselves.  It’s the way we see our life, our performance at work or in social situations, the way we raise our children . . . everything.  We look in the mirror and see someone who is just flat out not good enough.  We beat ourselves up each and every single day.  We convince ourselves that we are not the strong, beautiful, WORTHY child of God that he created us to be.  He is I Am, but we tell ourselves that we are Not.

As very small girls we knew we were cute.  We were confident.  We rocked our frilly dresses and sparkly sandals, our pigtails waving the breeze as we rode our bike or played in the dirt.  We knew what we wanted at that age and we had no doubt in our confidence.  As little girls we were fearless.  What happened?

As teenagers we started comparing ourselves to the other girls.  We started telling ourselves that we aren’t as pretty as the other girls, that we aren’t good enough to go out with the popular boy, that we aren’t as smart as the other kids.  We said that to ourselves so much that we started to believe it.  It became the gospel truth to us, and our confidence and self-image was shattered.

Now as grown women we are stuck in the juxtaposition of insecure confidence.  We put on a mask of confidence for everyone else to see.  We say all the right words to make them think we are perfectly happy.  But inside we are still looking in that mirror telling ourselves that we are NOT good enough.

But God is I Am . . . I say again that we were created in His image.

Is God weak?  Is God inadequate?  Is God stupid or ugly?

No.

Then why are we?

Because we forget that God is in us.  We convince ourselves that everything in our life is not what it is supposed to be.  We look in the mirror and expect to see the image that we want to have of ourselves, but we forget that what we are right now is exactly what God wants us to be.  We are not supposed to be perfect.  Only He is perfect.  If we were perfect them we wouldn’t need Him.  When we begin to see ourselves as God sees us then we’ll no longer say, “I am ugly, I am stupid, I am inadequate.”  When we begin to see ourselves as God see us then we will look at ourselves and say, “I am a child of God, created in His image.  I am blessed, redeemed, and worthy.”

God’s name is I Am.  We are created in His image.  He is strong, loving, beautiful, faithful . . . and so are we.

Until next time . . .

Walking on faith

image

With the convenience of smartphones it is very to carry your bible with you everywhere you go.  And I don’t know about you, but when I first downloaded the youversion app I told myself that I have plenty of chances throughout the day to catch a little bible study time.  When I’m outside smoking a cigarette.  When I’m waiting in line at the grocery store.  On my lunch break.  Take a moment and think about all the free time you actually have in your day.  It all adds up . . . to time not spent in my bible.  All that time I could be spending in The Word I instead spend checking Facebook and Instagram.  I check my email to see where my geocaching travelbugs have traveled to.  I do anything except read my bible.  It’s pretty easy to let that happen, isn’t it?
Because of my misappropriation of free time I have fallen dreadfully behind on my reading plans.  I have four, and am caught up on only one.  Tonight my son and husband went to bed and I found myself with the (very typical) quiet living room that happens around this same time every night.  I decided it was time to get caught up on at least one more of my reading plans.  That though, in and of itself, is just as bad as not doing the daily reading at all, because by just zipping through the missed days to get caught up I am not taking the time with each devotion to actually learn from it.  I am merely going through it like a grocery list.
With all that being said, in the course of trying to get myself caught up on one of my plans I encountered the devotion pictured above.  As you know I work for a radio station in Western Kentucky.  Over the course of the past year I have been getting increasingly more unhappy at my radio station.  It was on my list of dream jobs when I first started working there, but now I feel like I am just wasting time that could be better spent elsewhere.
There is a (very) small Contemporary Christian station just 10 miles from my radio station.  A friend found it and introduced me to it in October of last year.  I listened to them for a couple of weeks and could hear the potential in the station.  They just need some help, some coaching.  The entire on-air staff is completely green, but they have so much possibility.  So one day last fall on my way to work I stopped into that station, introduced myself to the program director, and offered myself as a consultant.  I wasn’t asking for a job or any compensation for any help I might be able to offer.  I just wanted to help this little radio station that is working for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
When I first got into radio I had great big dreams of stardom.  I was going to be the next Dick Clark and Casey Kasem.  Stations all over the country would want me to come work for them.  I would be headhunted from one station to the next until I hit the number one radio market . . . New York City.  I was going to be hugely famous!  But how does the saying go?  “Want to make God laugh?  Tell Him your plans.”  I took a job with the first (and only) radio station I interviewed with before even finishing school.  I worked there for 11 years and then got headhunted by the general manager of the station I am at now.  14 years and two radio stations later and I’m still in Kentucky.  Along the way I met my husband and stepdaughter, had a son, and have made a not-to-bad life.  But this is not how I saw my life 15 years ago.
I’m sure I’ve made God laugh a lot in the course of my 38 years, and I probably had Him on the floor, holding His stomach, with tears rolling down His face, with hysterical laughter as I made the plans for my career.
Well, no more.
On Friday I sent my resume to that tiny little Contemporary Christian radio station.  The program director emailed two weeks ago to tell me that their general manager position had opened up, and he wanted to know if I knew anyone that might be interested.  Mentally I screamed, “ME!  ME!  ME!”  But rather than immediately fire off my (horridly out-of-date) resume I instead turned to God.  I prayed for two weeks for Him to tell me if this was an avenue He wanted me to pursue.  I spoke with my pastor more than once.  I talked with a couple of very trusted friends, and with my parents.  And over the course of the two weeks everywhere I looked was one more thing pointing me toward that little radio station.  A verse in the bible that I would happen to come across.  My dad and my pastor saying the exact (almost word-for-word) same thing in the same day.  And actually listening for God’s voice during prayer.
I don’t know what will come of this.  Maybe I’ll be the next general manager of that station.  Then again maybe I won’t.  Only God knows, and it is all in His hands right now.  My star never did get as bright in the radio world as I planned on it getting 15 years ago as I was going through school.  But maybe God has other plans for my career.  I trust Him and his timing for the next step in my career.  He will eventually lead me where He wants me.  Until that day comes I just have to walk on faith.
Until next time . . .