Anyone Can Be an Unsung Hero, Including You

Anyone Can Be an Unsung Hero, Including You

You may not know them, but these four people left their comfort zones so that they could change lives.

In this day and age when bad news saturates the news media and internet, we forget that there are many great heroes who have lived before us and are among us.

The following four people I will be talking about may have been people you have never heard of. Nonetheless, the sacrifices they made are incredibly significant and worthy of our examination and thoughtful reflection.

St. Telemachus - The Monk Who Stood Up When No One Else Did

More than 1,600 years ago, St. Telemachus was an elderly monk who lived in a remote monastery far off in the East. Though he lived comfortably within the confines of that monastery, he one day felt called to leave the monastery to Rome. Upon his arrival, he saw crowds of people rushing to gather in the Colosseum. Not knowing what the excitement was all about, he followed the crowd into the Colosseum, where he witnessed two gladiators fighting to the death. He could not believe that thousands of people could find enjoyment in such cruel bloodshed, so he rushed down to the arena and stood between the gladiators, commanding them to stop in the name of Christ.

The gladiators were bewildered and stopped, but the crowd stood up in anger and stoned St. Telemachus for interrupting their entertainment. When the crowd realized that the old monk was dead, they were convicted of guilt for killing an innocent man, and one by one, they left the Colosseum silently. After Emperor Honorius heard of Telemachus’ heroic act, he ended gladiatorial games once and for all, and Telemachus was named a saint for standing up and helping to put an end to a cruel form of entertainment that had existed in Rome for hundreds of years.

Jim Elliot - The Man Who Loved the Unlovable

Jim Elliot, born in 1927, was from Oregon and grew up under pretty ordinary circumstances -- he went to high school, a four-year university, and was very involved on campus as well as known for being a great public speaker. After college, he and his five best friends were inspired to reach out to the Huaorani people of Ecuador. These people lived deep in the jungles and had zero contact with the outside world. They were known as the cruelest and most violent of the tribes in that area. Elliot wanted to reach out to this particular tribe because he had heard that most of them were not living to be older than 30 since they all eventually killed each other.

Elliot and his family left the comfort of their American home, and together with their friends, they studied the Huaorani language and spent months locating their tribe and giving them gifts, hoping to gain their trust. At first, the tribe responded well to Elliot and his friends, but in a sudden turn of events, they took spears and killed Elliot and all five of his friends. Though Elliot and his friends were armed with guns, they did not shoot any of the tribe members. The wives and children of Elliot and his friends remained with the tribe, and the Huaorani people were so awe-struck by their forgiveness, and the fact that Elliot and his friends did not shoot and kill them, that they all became Christians. They also all gave up the tradition of “spearing” their family members, and now, they travel around America to share the incredible story of how undeserved love changed their lives.

Heidi Baker - The Southern Californian Girl Who Now Feeds Thousands

Heidi Baker grew up in an affluent Laguna Beach home in Southern California, but when she was 17, she dedicated her life to Christ. Since then, she and her husband have traveled all throughout Southeast Asia and England to feed the hungry, love the homeless, and help those addicted to drugs and other forms of abuse.

She now is living in Mozambique, Africa, and has become known as “Mama Heidi” because of the thousands of children living there whom she had fed, cared for, and housed, since most of them had lost their parents to AIDS or the war. Heidi gave up everything she had ever known and had for these children. She even recounts a time when someone offered her orange juice and she cried because she realized she had not had a cup of orange juice to drink in three years. She could never afford it because she always gave up what she had for the people of Mozambique.

Miss Oseola McCarty - The Woman Who Gave Up Everything She Had

Miss Oseola McCarty was was African American who quit school in the sixth grade and was a washerwoman her entire life. Though she made minimal pay, she was determined to spend almost nothing on herself, and by the end of her life in 1999, she had saved $150,000, and she donated all of it to the University of Southern Mississippi.

She did not want a building named after her or a statue in her honor -- all she wanted was to be able to attend the graduation of a student there who was able to graduate from the University because of her donation. Because of her humble sacrifice, she has helped countless lives obtain the undergraduate education that she never had.

Who are the unsung heroes in your life, who went out of their comfort zones to pour into your life?

You weren’t meant to be a close-lidded bottle, containing all the love that’s been poured into you. You were meant to pour into others. Receiving is great, but it cannot compare to satisfaction of giving to someone else!

Many times, pouring into others means going out of your comfort zone. It’s not about loving the lovable, befriending the likable, standing up when everyone is with you, or giving when you have extra.

Being an unsung hero is about loving the unlovable, befriending the friendless, standing up when no one is for you, and giving when you have to sacrifice.

But when you do, you change lives -- including your own.

It takes going out of your comfort zone to do all of that. But going out of your comfort zone helps you to realize life is more fully lived when you forget your own discomfort, insecurities, and weaknesses, in order to go out and reach out.

Anyone can be an unsung hero, including you.

I can assure you, that when you leave that content and comfortable place in your life to love and give -- it won’t be easy at first -- but you’ll have some of the best moments of your life and you’ll meet some of the best people you’ll ever meet. Your life will have an impact on those you touch, and those people will be spurred on to give to others, and you may not have realized it, but you’ve just started a revolution that’s like a fire you can’t put out.

Sometimes going out of your comfort zone can be something as simple as starting a conversation with someone sitting next to you -- someone who is completely different from you. They may really need a friend like you. But who knows, maybe you really need a friend like them.

Discomfort is not easy in the beginning, but in the end, you stretch and grow as a person. By giving your life and your love, you become richer. It’s funny how that works, but it’s true.

"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

-Jim Elliot

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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The Burning of Notre Dame

As the world looked on in horror, the 800-year-old cathedral threatened to burn to the ground, but I felt a different sort of fire igniting.


It's unlikely that this is the first article you've ready about the burning of France's Notre Dame Cathedral. It's a national landmark that has stood, in some form, for 800 years and we, as a world, were forced to watch it burn for nearly a day and a night. It was devastating to a multitude of people, not only the French nation.

I was watching a live stream of the cathedral's burning, stuck between horror and disbelief, when another feeling entirely began to creep over me. I read the headlines sprawled across the top of the screen, "Notre Dame Burns", "Gothic Structure Nearly Lost", "Will They Rebuild?" and started to wonder where we place our value in everyday life. I understand and appreciate the fact that Notre Dame is a treasure from a different time entirely, it holds more history than the whole of younger lands like the United States and Canada combined, but still, doubt circled in my heart and mind.

After the spouting flames had died to their last embers, a torrent of posts began to flood multimedia platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and everything in-between. People began to communicate their relief that the inner sanctuary was unharmed, that the fire hadn't damaged the twin towers, etc. They touted that God had spared dear Notre Dame in her darkest hour. I disagreed, but not for the reasons you might think.

We, as a culture, as a world, place too high a value on historical religious items whilst we shun the Power to which we owe their creation. The historical value of a place like Notre Dame is unmistakable, I pray that the French government will make every effort in her restoration so future generations can understand her place in history. But...I pray, more so, that the tragedy of the burning of Notre Dame serves a higher purpose; to bring those who have fallen away from Christ back from the brink.

We need to understand the value of our religious history, but not allow it to control us. Some might say the burning of Notre Dame was the conflagration of a dying era. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn't. I think God used the pillars of fire that emerged from the cathedral's center as a beacon to bring our eyes back to him. Disasters unite nation to nation, people to people, and He wants us to unite in our adoration of Him.

I'm amused when people describe Christ as a softy, a push-over, a weakling. Because I know better. The flames that wreathed Notre Dame were a testament to His strength. Through them, He was shouting, "Come back to me! I am here! Forsake your sinful ways and find redemption in Me!"

I think John the Baptist had the right of it in Luke 3:16, "...I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

Christ is the fire.

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