Saturday, June 22, 2013

Humiliated or Humbled?

Awkward. Yeah, that's probably the word that would describe how it felt to be at the Survivor Casting Call yesterday. Yes, I was a contestant on Survivor: China, but it was six years ago. Not only that, I only lasted three episodes. So, it was a bit awkward to see people whispering to each other, "I don't know who she is - who is she anyway? Which Survivor? She doesn't look familiar!"

One dude asked me if I was embarrassed because I came in 14th place out of 16. I said, "Oh, no. Actually, the way I look at it is that 30,000 people applied and I was 14th out of 30,000 - that's not too shabby!" As funny as it was, I'm not gonna lie, it was a bit embarrassing!

So, I was on my way home and was thinking about it a bit more. I am not easily embarrassed, honestly, but for some reason I was feeling a wave of humiliation. The voice of the enemy was blaring through my head telling me what a disaster that was and how I should never go to one of those again. My time is over and nobody knows who I am anyway. You're a washed up has-been!

Then, today I awoke and found this in my messages on Facebook:


  • Although we are friends on FB you do not know me personally nor do you know the profound impact you had in my life.  On July 26, 2009 I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I share this with you because God used you to reach me and for that I will be forever grateful. I was seeking. Looking high and low for a spiritual connection. I watched Oprah; I tried the Eckhart Tolle oneness with the universe concept. The Wayne Dyer and Hay House New Age stuff. Our Heavenly Father knew His sheep was lost and He spoke straight to my heart the day you stood outside that temple in China and told Jeff Probst you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Immediately, I knew what was missing from my life and deeply desired my own "personal relationship with Jesus". That moment began a true spiritual journey to today when I can say with all my being that I too have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. 

    My humiliation and the negative thoughts from yesterday have completely disappeared. Maybe most of those people didn't remember who I was, but this woman came to know Jesus as a result of my brief appearance on Survivor Who cares if anyone remembers me or not? It's not about me. It's all about Him. I want them to remember Him. And He reached into the heart of a perfect stranger to me and took her on a journey into His arms - and this journey began as she watched a woman most people won't even remember!  

    God is so sweet to send such a gentle reminder to me today. Today, instead of being humiliated, I'm humbled. Humbled that the God of the Universe took a moment to encourage me through one of His children this morning.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Survivor Casting Call!

Tomorrow I will be at the Survivor Casting Call at Dave Edwards Toyota in Spartanburg, SC.  The casting call is from 9am-4pm and I will be there from around 11am-2pm, giving tips on auditioning, signing autographs and selling my new book, Wholehearted: Living the Life You Were Created to Live.

I made an appearance on Scene on 7 tonight talking about the casting call and a little bit about my experience on Survivor China. 

If you have ever thought of auditioning, now is your chance! All the details are here!

See you tomorrow!!

Leslie
http://www.wspa.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9012145

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kindness

I was reading through John 18 a couple of days ago where we are taken to the Garden of Gethsemane, the night before Jesus' journey to the Cross. Remember when an armed guard approached the disciples and Peter drew his sword and sliced off his ear? Peter was trying to defend Jesus and keep Him protected. But what did Jesus do? He told Peter to put the sword away.

Peter was misrepresenting the mission and compassion of Jesus in doing something so careless. He was using violence and defensiveness and as a result, the man was wounded. Jesus walked over, put His hand on the man's ear and it was healed immediately.

Jesus is so different that we can be, isn't He? So kind. So compassionate. So forgiving and understanding. He is more concerned with making things right with others than in being right. God tells us through the Apostle Paul in Romans 2:4, "Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that His kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?" I love this. His kindness. Are we showing that same kindness to others in our lives?

I think we can often be like Peter in this story in John 18. We draw our "sword" and become defensive, often times making is so that people will not hear a word we have to say. It's not lost on me that it was the guys ear that was cut off - could it be that we are cutting off the hearing of others when we lash out in careless defensiveness?

Maybe it's a fellow Christian who is living in a specific sin, and we feel the need to judge them and point it out in self-righteous and hurtful way. Or perhaps it's a non-Christian who doesn't understand the love and forgiveness of God, so instead of showing them His love, we only speak of His judgment and anger and try to scare them into a relationship with God. They feel attacked and have no desire to hear a word we have to say when we approach them like this.

Then Jesus comes along and says, "No, my way is better. Kindness and compassion is how we will show them the way." And He heals them. Only then can others hear what He has been whispering to them all along:

"I love you."


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Living the Adventure!

It was always my favorite time of the day. I was in second grade. We would sit cross-legged on the "magic carpet" (a rug in the middle of the floor) and our teacher would have different people come in and read to us. The sound of the crackling library book opening and the way the pages turned always
thrilled my little heart because I knew we were going on an adventure!  I even remember the way those library books smelled - like sweet expectation!

Now I can get the same feeling, but not at story time. Now it's during my quiet times with God. I love the feeling of expectation as I sit and open my Bible, knowing God will meet me there and share not only life changing stories, but truth to help me live my life with purpose and passion. It's the reference manual for my life and it's truly an adventure!

So...why is it that sometimes I have a hard time getting motivated to go on these adventures with God? Tired. Busy. Stressed. Not in the mood. All of these are excuses I've used. And none of them are acceptable. I truly believe the reason it's so hard to get motivated to spend time in God's Word at times is because it's not something the enemy of my soul would want me to do. He knows that is what brings me closer to God. He knows that is what strengthens my heart and gives me hope for my days. No wonder it's so hard sometimes!

If you're human, you have struggles and temptations. And if you have a relationship with God, sometimes that struggle is finding internal motivation to be still before God and allow Him to speak into your life. Maybe you don't want to hear what He has to say?  Or maybe you just don't feel like you have the time?  It makes no sense - because when we do take time to spend alone with God, it's always amazing.

I want to encourage you - if you are struggling in your quiet times with God, don't beat yourself up!  You can be motivated again. It's not a life sentence to stay where you are.  Just ask Him to help you. I truly believe that is a prayer from your heart that God will answer with a resounding "Yes!"  Ask Him to increase your passion for His Word. Ask Him to give you wisdom as you read it. And turn away from any part of your life that pulls you away from Him. It's not worth it!

God wants to speak to us...but we have to be still enough to listen. Praying we all learn to be still, at least a little while, today.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..."

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