Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.
(00:33): Hey there, welcome to episode 28 of find your fierce. So glad that you are with us today. Continuing our mini series, tough topics, tough questions, real talk, and how we can show up in the world and make a difference. No matter what is going on all around us, as we all know, there's so much going on in the world, you know, we talked about last week with the pandemics. There's the division, the fear, the chaos. And I think there needs to be great discussions on how we can do our part, how we can show up without falling victim or getting caught up in that chaotic trap. And one of the insight and wisdom of my friends and experts in their field. We are continuing the series with dear friends of mine. We get to two together here. We've met through our children at a basketball game, captain Brian to Michael and captain Lord to Michael from the salvation army serving Lancaster in Fairfield County. How are you guys doing great? I'm so glad that you guys are here. Tell us a little bit about why I am so intrigued. I have been inspired by the work that you guys do. Tell us a little bit about the salvation army and how you serve so many
(01:36): Should army on what a lot of people don't know is that we are a church. The salvation army was actually born out of the vision of a Wesleyan Methodist minister back in 1865 in London, England. And he noticed that in the church at that time, that there were a lot of folks that were being neglected that were being left out on the fringes of society, because these were the poor, the homeless, the prostitutes, the drug addicts, the alcoholics, and decided that he wanted to do something about that felt called by God to do something about that. So around the world, now the salvation army is in 130 different countries, depending upon what community or what nation you're in. You may find us doing different kinds of activities. You know, we have schools and hospitals and Africa all the way to us here in Lancaster. You know, we have a food pantry. We have youth programs. We actually have an adult daycare center for seniors who need somewhere to go during the day who need that extra level of socialization. And so it's unique to our County. There's only three others in this whole part of the country that are run by the salvation army. So it's really just what are the needs that our community has and how can we continue to bring hope to others?
(02:50): The salvation army in Fairfield County in particular, we're here to serve. And Lancaster are our home base. Our core is what it's called as in like a star it's. We host our church where we have our church services and also our social services, our ministries, our adult daycare. And we're really here to meet the needs of whatever community we're assigned to. So we come in specifically and ask this community what they need us to do, where they need us to fit and how we can serve that. No, I really do not think people know this. So this is why I am so excited that you guys are here because I'm going to be completely honest. When I think of the salvation army, I think of the thrift store or the bell. And that's what I think of. I did not realize the power and the impact that you guys can just spread. Now, you guys are married. Okay. So tell us about that, because that is amazing. I mean, you guys are working together, but how does that work when the two of you are working together? You guys ordained ministers. Yes. Teamwork is the dream work.
(03:58): Don't worry. I shouldn't say that. How do we make, okay.
(04:00): What we've actually found there, there was a quote that I've learned many years ago about marriage, that the best marriages are the ones where the two parts together make something stronger than the two parts individually. And so as we look at where our strengths are, what our gifts are, you know, I tend to be an analytical business, kind of introvert Laura on the other hand is driven. Yeah. Lauren is heart driven, very extroverted, very people oriented. So it works well that in, you know, in our ministry we can kind of split those parts. I'm the one you're going to find in the office Monday through Friday. And the one you're going to find preaching most Sundays, because that's the kind of stuff that I'm gifted at. You want to see someone out with the teenagers or someone who's out doing a visitation and stuff like that, hands on stuff that flora, and it's just those ways that we just kind of bring it together.
(04:55): Yeah, it definitely is. It's just a match. And when God called us individually to work for the salvation army and just to serve him in ministry through the salvation army, that was our calling. And as we answered that, calling God provided just the spouse that he needed to work as the teammate. We always joke. Well, I joke and say that he's the brains of the organization and I'm the syphilis in the personality. I love it because you were hired as one, right? So we function as a couple. We are both ordained individually and we are, we are hired individually, but we work as a couple. And for the longest time the couples were having the couple of work hire,
(05:42): And we still are here. You're given your assignment based as America, wherever you go, your assignment is connected to that. So we've served now four locations together. And you know, that's, that's how it's been. You know, we've been fortunate enough to be in this wonderful community for six years. And we know we're going on to year seven, which is fantastic. Hope to be here even longer than that. But yeah, w you're you're, you're brought together as that. And you really look at, you know, what each one's strengths are and that's the time to do it together.
(06:15): I mean, you work in each other's weaknesses too, and trust the Lord to fill in all those parts. Yeah. That's yeah. That's amazing. Thanks for sharing that and giving us a little bit of insight. I think a lot more women here that are listening, it's really important working together. We don't share an office.
(06:33): Yeah. I totally get it. I'm in my closet. Rob's office is in the front of the house and I have moved here. I love it. I have a window in my closet and this is just kind of what I've turned to. So a little bit, but it's good. So in this, you know, in a series and I, we had talked a little bit about, there's just, I mean, we talk about chaos all the time and I know on the podcast we think about, okay, we talked about mindset and, but I think there's such a huge spiritual piece. If not, if that's not where it should start with this, let's I want to ask you, like, how, how do you manage the chaos? What do you share with your congregation and in the youth that you work with and the people that you work with, how do you manage that yourselves and with others?
(07:19): Well, one of the things that I try to keep in mind is that no matter what the challenges are that are going on out there, that as long as I'm still safe, which I know I am, and I know that God is on the throne. There's not much else that I'd really have to worry about. One of my favorite verses in scripture. It's actually my life verses Jeremiah 29 11, which says that the Lord says that I know the plans that I have for you plans to prosper and not to harm you plans to give you a hope and a future. And it's that understanding that no matter what the situation may be, that God is still ruler. Overall. We face a lot of chaos. You know, I'm going to be honest. We, we have an enemy. We face an enemy that is out there to kill and destroy. And so a lot of times those seeds of chaos are soaked by that enemy. I was driving to the office the other day and was listening to a old him on the radio that said, it says, this is my father's world. Oh, let me there forget that though. The wrong seems off so strong God is the ruler yet. And I have to, we have to focus in on that fact there, knowing that God is the one that is still in control, no matter what the situation may be.
(08:30): Chapter 46, verse 10 from the new international version says be still and know that I am a God and exercise that I often do as a creative, extroverted, beautiful person with ADHD. I often go off this first and I say, be still and know that I am gone. And as I meditate on that, and as I speak that over and over, it becomes these still and know that I am God be still and know that I am be still and know be still and just be, and as I breathe in and out of that verse and in the presence of the Holy spirit and just got in my life, it takes practice for patients and for peace. And it is absolutely given as we ask God for it. Wow. Something that stood out to me, you said soaked by the enemy. Yeah. Like there is evil. Absolutely. I mean, that's, that's real
(09:25): It's fact. I mean, and scripture tells us that, you know, we don't fight against flesh and blood, but we fight against those forces of darkness that are out there. You know? And one of the things that, that I think sometimes we forget is this world is not the way that God originally planned with debate. And when sin came into the world and when the evil one came in there and started messing, messing things up, you know, that's where chaos came in. You know, he lives in chaos. And that's what I think sometimes we get mixed up on those ideas. We think that we're fighting against someone that's flesh and blood. No, you're not.
(10:04): No. Oh, I think we're all guilty of that. Yeah. Sorry. Yeah. I mean, it's so easy. I mean, the enemy is like so real. Yeah. We struggled with it too. Even as pastors ministers of the gospel and just being constantly giving any teaching in what we do, we struggle with it too. And it is it's accountability with one another with God, with the beckoning of the Holy spirit in your life, with good friends, checking in on people to find peace, to hold peace as accountable. And it's a struggle. I think it's being in community and not relying on just yourself to find peace, but really looking in word and relying on your relationship with God and your relationship with others. Do you think that is what so many are missing? I mean, we look around, I noticed a tough question, tough talk, talk, talk on this. And to be able to be bold enough to speak that, like we might be working on ourselves, but at the same time, isn't that our, our call or to share this message because there's so many people hurting.
(11:14): Absolutely. And there's an old song. I remember that said, the world needs Jesus. I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna make it any more confusing than that, but just the world needs Jesus. And when we are people who are, when, when Jesus is the one that is leading our lives and the Holy spirit lives within us, it causes us to do, he causes us to do things differently. We see the world differently. We do things differently. I'm reminded of a story of you know, I, I think about the things that are going on with racial tensions in our nation right now. And a couple of years ago, we were on a family vacation in The Bahamas. And so we were in this taxi cab going from one spot to another. And we got into a spiritual discussion with this taxi driver.
(12:00): And he said, do you know that God doesn't look at us, whether we're white or black, whether we're male or female, whether we're American or behavior, he just looks at our spirit and he goes on our spirit and doesn't have any of those. And the problem becomes that when we start judging people by that, that's not how God looks at us at all. He says, you know, I'm reminded of the passage and scripture that says for, we are neither male nor female, June, or Greek slave nor free for, we are all one in Christ Jesus. And when Jesus is the one, that's the center there, when God is the one that we're living for, you know, these are the things, this is, this is how we act. This is, this is who we are.
(12:39): Well, and when we start that judging process, then we're overstepping.
(12:45): Absolutely, absolutely. You know, we don't know for one another, we don't know the struggles that someone else goes through. We don't know what other heartache and pain has caused someone to make the choice that they did. You know, sometimes, you know, a lot of people act out of desperation or, you know, you get trapped again. We were talking about that chaos from the dark, from the evil one, you know, that same thing happens in there that you start having, you start hearing lies and you start acting out of those things. Or, you know, you're dealing with the level of, of pain and heartache. And so you decide to try and self medicate with, you know, substance abuse and things like that.
(13:21): And we're so surprised when chaos shows up and it's like, chaos is always there. And it's definitely created
(13:32): We've over the years, we've seen just beautiful examples of people who were once caught in that kind of cycle that were caught in that darkness. We've seen them come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and savior. And everything changes, everything changes. And you look at them now and you know, you wouldn't believe that they're the same, the same person that was there before, because Jesus came into their life and you know, and they, they yield, they yielded that Lordship. They yielded that rule of their life over to him. You know,
(14:04): They surrendered it all. How do we begin that process? You know? Cause I mean, some will look at it as like, you know, it's just, there's no hope. There's no, like how do we start moving forward and making that step or bridging the gap. It really begins with admitting that you need help. It really begins with being humble and throwing your hands up and saying, I can't control this. I can't fix this. And I'm going to be okay with that, letting go of the control. And just admitting that you need help, that you need Jesus, that you are a sinner and inviting him into your life from there. After you admit that believing that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, when you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sin, chaos is not part of him. And when chaos rules our life, when sin rules, our life that died on the cross with him and we can let that go admitting that you need help believing Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins and confessing him as Lord of your life, giving God complete glory, honor and charge of your life.
(15:13): And when you, even after those things happen, you know, I sometimes deal a little bit with control. I still deal with that with the Lord for many, many years. And I still have that issue. You know, that's one of those things that comes up and sometimes it's just going back and having those reminders again, that God is still on the throne, that God still has plans for me that I'm loved, that, you know, I'm forgiven for things like that. Just keeping ourselves in those truths that we know a good friend of mine once said, you know, a lot of times our brains begin to think about all these, what ifs, you know, the anxiety begins to creep in there and we worry about what, what about this? Or what about that? And we begin to make these scenarios up in our heads. And he said to me, he goes, why don't you just focus on those things that, you know, he goes, keep yourself rooted in those things that, you know, keep those, keep yourself rooted in what you know is true. And he said, don't jump to conclusions, stick on what, you know, if someone hasn't told you something different or you know, you have no other reason to add this piece of information, don't matter, you know,
(16:23): God's truth versus the lies. Oh yeah.
(16:28): So love to believe.
(16:30): And then I just surrounded all of us. And I mean that chaos, those fiery darts that are just
(16:37): All day long. Yeah.
(16:39): So how do we protect ourselves in a time like this? I know, and their protection can mean so many different things with our health or with our mind, but how can we protect ourselves spiritually? Sure. So just to recap, I mean, as following health guidelines, doing your best to take care of your body Joel, I know as your podcast fit and fierce taking care of yourself, being healthy and finding people around you to encourage that lifestyle, that's the huge, huge part of it. But to touch on things spiritual,
(17:12): I mean, you have to have a daily dose of the word of God. It's gotta be more than just maybe a quick glance that you're getting on Facebook, but you know, study meditate, think on the word of God. Oh, I had another thought that was out. One that might sound a little strange, but limit your media intake.
(17:32): That is the most genius thought ever. That's not weird at all. Let the limit limit the media.
(17:39): I'll tell you, there are those days that, you know, I open up my Facebook or I open up my Apple news and before I get done scrolling too far, I'm depressed. Like where is everything going again? Cause you don't see a lot of positives and stuff out there. And that's when you go back and you've got to, you've got to focus in on those truths and yeah. Limit, limit your media intake. You know, one of the things that we do too, as a couple and as a family, the life of a salvation army officers, very busy, you can work 24, seven and still not get everything done. And so one of the things that we've really implemented in our family life is we take a day for Sabbath. We take a day to intentionally disconnect from work to, you know, spend time together doing things that are filling for us. You know, some people, it may be, you know, I'm going to spend the day working in the garden or another, I'm going to spend a day reading for us. Sometimes it's just hanging out, resting or sleeping.
(18:40): Practicing Sabbath is about participating with the divine nature of God and receiving life. And as he said, checking those social media and all of the things coming at you stopping those things, living healthy also has to do with practicing Lectio, Divina, studying the word of God, spending time in prayer, spending time in the presence of God. There's a wonderful app that I like to use. It's called Lectio three 65 and it has the prayer prompts and it has rupture prompts and it has quiet time prompts. And so just call me, you know, all the voices around you and really tuning in on truth is one of the best ways to say spiritually healthy.
(19:28): One of the other things too, that I would recommend is I'm shifting the attention away from ourselves. We had a,
(19:38): I told you, you would like it. Yeah.
(19:40): Mass, our daughter, Madison and I were having a discussion one time and she was telling me, she goes, you know, dad feels like God doesn't hear any of my prayers. And I asked her, I said, all right. So what's the kind of stuff that you're praying for. And most of the things that she was praying for were all things that were focused on herself. And I told her, I said, Maddie, why don't you just try and pray for someone else? I said, think of a think of someone else that really could use prayer. And I said, you know, lift them up and then see if God answers your prayers. And she says to me, about two days earlier, or two days later, she goes, dad, you were exactly where I got hurt. Exactly what I was saying. Yeah. Sometimes we focus too much on ourselves.
(20:21): We miss others. And you know, sometimes when we can shift that away, that focus away from ourselves, it makes a big impact. I'll give you one other quick story cope with really started. We were really dealing with a lot of interesting situations here at the salvation army because our adult daycare, which is a big part of who we are and what we do was shut down. So I was dealing with that. I was passing a kidney stone and building, you know, regularly floods and it decides to flood them. So I called it the trifecta of misery. I was, it was just horrible. And so I'm getting ready to head home from the office. And I get this message on Facebook from a gentleman whose wife tried to come and get a box of food for his father-in-law was a little upset because they didn't get to the right place.
(21:10): And I said, well, tell me, how can I help? What can I do to help you out? And he goes, well, my dad really, he lives by himself. Hasn't had a lot of food lately and we're just concerned about it. And we'd like to get him some food. I said, give me the address. I'll take it out to him. So I take this box of food out to this gentleman and drop it off. And no sooner than I got to the end of the street, the son texted me back and said, my dad just called me. He's in tears. He's so thankful for the food that you guys were able to get. And it shifted completely my whole focus, the rest of the coven. It wasn't as bad as you know, we'll look at what, what was me. It was, you know, yeah. I have the opportunity to serve others. And so, you know, Laura's reminding me that the founder of the salvation army William Booth was once sent out a, a, a Telegraph to all of his officers for Christmas. And he sent it out just in one simple word that really boils down everything that we do. He said, others think about us. And so when we put it all together, sometimes let's take the attention off ourselves and put it on other folks as well.
(22:12): Wow. Now that we all need that reminder, I'll need that reminder for sure. I think we have one more question. Why are there so many binary thinkers out there and how can we encourage more thoughtful and kind understanding individuals?
(22:29): I think a lot of that comes into the fact that it's easy to be black and white. And I don't mean, I don't mean that in any racial racial sense, that when we sit down and we think about our thinking, it's easy to say it's one way or another. And the problem is, is that it goes back to that same idea. I was talking about earlier that we don't know the struggles and the situations that others have gone through. And so, you know, we, we can go, we can go back and even look at what, what Jesus experienced in his time. When, you know, he had the Pharisees that were trying to make things black and white and he goes, no, it's not that way. We have to look at one another and we have to look at situations through the lens of Jesus.
(23:10): And, you know, I'm, I'm reminded again and again, that I think about the story of the woman that was caught in adultery. And Jesus says, you know, but he who is without sin cast the first stone and then everybody kind of walks away and he, he looks at the woman and he goes, nobody's here to condemn you. I don't either go now and leave your life of sin. And so we have to look at things that way we have to be willing to kind of dig a little bit deeper maybe into the situations that people have. And I'll tell you, I can be the first one who sometimes in situations will look and go it's black, or there's a lot of gray in the world. A lot of gray in the world.
(23:48): It says in first John chapter four 19, our love for others is our grateful response to the love that God first demonstrated to us. And that's all I have to say. This sums it up. It sums it up. So, I took notes through all of this. And some of the things that I wrote down is just so everyone, we can recap here. We need to be able to let go of the control and surrender, you know, and admit factor, be aware of the fact that we all need help. We need a daily dose of God. We need to, we need to meditate. Study, limit the media, have a day of Sabbath of rest, study the word of God, shifting our focus away from ourselves and look at things through the lens of Jesus. Is there anything else that you want to add?
(24:35): I would say the, probably sum it all up, that what we're called to do is to show up in the world and make a difference. That's what Jesus calls us to do without getting caught up in the chaos to show up and make a difference. And when you show up in the world and make a difference, it doesn't have to be something that's earth shattering. You know, this may be or earth shaking. I mean, this may be, you know, Jesus tells us in scripture, he goes, when you give a cup of cold water to someone in my name, it's a blessing.
(25:06): Simple things like that. It can be, you know, I'm at the grocery store and it looks like the cashier's having a rough day. Number one. I, yeah, it could be nice to not add to it, but number two, you know, I can say something tied, you know we, we can, as, as Gandhi said, we need to be the change we want to see in the world.
(25:24): Love each other. So good. So good. How can we have others, if others have questions, more questions or they want to follow or help join your team or, and be a part of your ministry, where can we send them?
(25:38): Well, we're online FC, Ohio dot salvation, army.org. That's our local organization web address. And from there, you can get connected to us. And then if there's any other like salvation army ministries around the world that you're interested in, you can get connected to that. You can follow us on Facebook or at the salvation army, serving Lancaster and Fairfield County. And we're very, very good at posting updates and getting things out there pretty regularly about what's going on. You can always, I mean, either one of those, we'll get your email links to both Laura and I, if you've got any questions, we'll be more than happy to do whatever we can. You know,
(26:16): It also allows you from those links from our website, from Facebook, you can get connected to the teen ministries with Instagram and with Snapchat, we have all of those connections on that. Webpage, whether it's the team ministries, whether it's children's ministries, our food pantry, our community assistance programs are just a variety of things that the salvation army does. And also it can link you information regarding our international social justice commission and things like that. Internationally, where the salvation army serves and where you're going to be a part of it too. It is just about loving God, loving others and serving human needs without discrimination. That list right there just shares and shows how much you guys all do, and to be a part of the salvation army. I thank you so much for joining us today. We are always on a mission here on the find your fierce podcast to be the best version of ourselves to be better today than we were yesterday, and to always be working on ourselves.
(27:17): So if you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it's like to juggle crazy busy life, head on over to be fit and fierce.com and become unstoppable with us, or if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing your faith, join our, just breathe. Facebook group heads up on the next episode, we are going to continue this real talk series, but this time with dr. Suzanne Barnhart, it's going to be so good. Thanks so much for joining us today. Please subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media, as we all know, someone that can benefit, and I would love it. If you would give some feedback and review as well, talk with you next time, Be fit, be fierce, be unstoppable. See ya.
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