Note: Below is a transcription of this Walking Our Talk podcast. Please excuse any grammatical or punctuation flaws, as the transcription is a written version of our fluid conversation.
Pauly [00:00:07] Welcome to walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller, join our conversation as we discuss practical ways to apply spiritual principles to your everyday life and help you walk your talk one step at a time.
Alan [00:00:28] Well, welcome to Walk and Talk. This is Alan Heller in Phoenix, Arizona. We actually had rain today, it was beautiful for a dry and thirsty land. We really appreciate when it rains and the plants love it. And for most of us, we don’t see but about seven inches a year. And so it’s great to be in this wonderful southwestern oasis for me.
Alan [00:00:57] So we’ve been talking the last time, the last podcast we talked about filling your cup, what fills your cup? And we talked about there are a cup drainers and there cup fillers and the cup drainers, maybe media, maybe TV, maybe your iPhone, could be children, could be the responsibilities that you have that have overwhelmed you. Maybe you’ve said yes too many times. And so you’re having a hard time getting things done or you’re just starting to feel a little depressed because you’re so far behind. And so that can be a cup drainer.
Alan [00:01:38] There are physical things that drain our cup and there are mental things that drain our cup. But one of the things that we know that fills our cup is the spirit of God and the word of God. And so some of the things that fill our cup are spiritual, some of the things physical. Sometimes it’s just good to go take a walk. Sometimes we need half a day or an hour to just go somewhere. And we used to go to a wonderful hotel and not even stay there. Just go walk around the grounds, have a cup of coffee, just walk in a place where you have no responsibility, nobody knows you, and you just have the ability to enjoy the premises. So it could be physical and of course, being filled with the spirit.
Alan [00:02:27] We said a full cup looks like somebody who is spirit filled, has peace inside and out, is filled with joy because the fruit of the spirit is love, joy. And then it goes on peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and really what God says in his word. First Thessalonians 5:18, says, this is the will of God concerning you, that you give thanks in everything. So you may ask, give thanks in everything. For instance, ten years ago, almost ten years ago, our son died of colorectal cancer, of course, where we’re not rejoicing and all excited about the fact that he died. But we give thanks for what God did in our lives after the testing and during it. What we give thanks for is that God, you’re building my character. God, you will show me things great and mighty things is what Jeremiah says that I know not of. And so we need to keep seeking first his kingdom. So joy will be a part and a characteristic of our life. The Bible says that you’ll know we are Christians by our love, our love for one another. Sometimes you need to be loved and sometimes you need to love. It’s better to give than to receive and maybe to fill your cup, you need to go help somebody else. So giving thanks and everything, having peace, being filled with the Holy Spirit.
Alan [00:04:07] Another part of being filled is our soul, our mind, will and emotions to be mindful of the Lord we talked about last time and his will. What it says in the Gospel of John is this is my commandment that you love one another. But it also says that if you obey my commands, you will be blessed. You’ll feel good being obedient to his word, abiding in his spirit, spending meaningful time in the word we talked about, whether that’s five or ten minutes or whether it’s an hour or whether it’s, you know, sometimes once a month, I’ll try and take at least three to six hours away with the Lord. And sometimes I’ll take a day or two sometimes how fast that helps focus me spending meaningful time in his word.
Alan [00:05:11] Not hurrying, having emotions that are under control by the spirit. The only way you can have that is by God filling you with his spirit. You asking him, take control of my emotions, Lord. You took some time, hopefully, and found out what drains your cup, and then we talked about what fills your cup and it’s individual for each of us. And we talked about keeping a clear vision by, as we said, spending time with God and his word, carrying out the vision God is giving you that will fill your cup. Solitude and prayer, getting away on a regular basis where you can just listen to the Lord and not be asking. And then we talked about Henry Blackaby’s, quote, Are we unhurried and unrushed in our time with God? Many times we’re just checking it off a list sometimes. You know, a couple of days ago, I just got up. I was already busy on my computer. And the next thing I knew, I was out the door and I didn’t get my time with God.
Alan [00:06:16] And, you know, fast food is great. But if you ever saw this documentary called Supersize Me, this guy for I think 30 days lived on fast food. And within the second or third day, basically he threw up because you just having three meals of fast food is not healthy for you. And just having fast food in the word of God is not healthy for you. So if you miss one or two times, that’s not so bad. If you miss one or two meals, that’s not so bad in your everyday life physically. But if you miss a few of them and if you stop really connecting with God and just sort of say, oh, God bless this food, amen. You know? What Jesus did was he gave thanks as he broke the bread and he remembered who it came from and that’s really what we’re trying to do.
Alan [00:07:11] And then we talked about shape, spiritual gifts, knowing what your spiritual gifts are, there are many inventories. Just go online and look for a spiritual gifts inventory. If you don’t know what they are, your heart or your passion, your desire, something that keeps you up at night because you just love to do it. Learning your abilities, the talents that you have, whether it’s organizing or motivating people or whether it’s gathering people together for a cause. Your abilities could be typing or could be editing your abilities, your personality, you know, doing things that are fun for your personality. If you’re outgoing, you want to be with people and Paul\y, my wife, when she wants to be motivated, loves to go to a party with all kinds of people, if I’ve had a long week, I just want to get away from people because I’ve spent it in the crisis of everyone’s life and I need a break.
Alan [00:08:12] And then experiences, what are the painful educational and informal experiences as well as formal? Could be school, could be seminar’s, could be podcast’s, could be a painful experience, a death of a child or a loss of a job, or it could be a divorce. God wants to use those experiences to comfort others with the comfort whereby you’ve been comforted. So I went through the death of our son ten years ago, and I’m a lot more aware and empathetic to those who are in depression because of the death of a spouse or a child. It’s very easy for me to relate now to those people. The pain was so great, far greater than any pain I’ve ever experienced in my life, and it was so every day.
Alan [00:09:05] It helps you to draw boundaries and say no, to have a full cup. It helps you integrate and deploy the gifts and talents that you have to know your shape. So if you know what you’re supposed to do, then you know what you’re not supposed to do. There in our church, sometimes they’ll have people asking, can you do the offering or whatever? And for me, I think, you know, almost anybody can do the offering if they can walk. And I am coming into this worship service to get filled up.
And I’ve already done three or four small groups that are involved in our church. I’ve done counseling all week. To me, the worship service is a time for me to get blessed and to have input. And when I do the offering, or if I do communion and pass out the plate and stuff, it interrupts that worship experience. Now, that’s not true for everyone, but it is for me. Some people they by doing and serving, they feel more connected with God and themself and it feels their cup to do that.
Alan [00:10:17] And there are different times for different things. So let’s talk about taking care of yourself. In an airplane that says, please put on this, you know, the oxygen will fall from the ceiling and put on the oxygen mask on yourself first before you put it on your child. And this is true especially of us that are in ministry or in high powered positions that we’re just busy all the time. First, get yourself and put on your air mask, get in the word spend time so you can be filled with his spirit. Fill your cup first before you start giving out to others. A wise mentor of mine said you cannot give to others if you’re always giving to them. You cannot give to others if you’re giving from an empty tank.
Alan [00:11:11] Then we have the Purpose Driven Life with Rick Warren. He has an article that talks about how to keep your purpose clear, and I can’t find it at the moment. But if you want that and there’s some print out, just write me and [email protected] The other thing we have is a Triple R weekend for you and your spouse and even you could just do it on your own. You just need to again go to our website, walkandtalk.org and you can purchase that. Triple R Weekend stands for Recreation, Romance and Renewal for us. We took two times a year most of our married life, and we’ve been married for four years and we took time to recreate for us it was playing golf. And then we’d go to a nice, beautiful restaurant in Oak Creek Canyon in Sedona here up north in Phenix in Arizona. And there’d be a strolling guitarist, checkered red and white tablecloth. There were candles and very romantic and then, you know, Pauly would not have three kids pulling on her. And usually she just said, stay away from me for 24 hours. That was pretty hard to do. But she usually relaxed a lot when we we just went out and played a round of golf, had dinner and then had time together.
Alan [00:12:50] And then the next day, our best time is between 10 and two o’clock we would get up. Each of us would get our own time with the Lord and we would look at what we call the seven areas of life physical, social, financial, marital, parental, psychological and spiritual. And we’d look at each one of those areas. And if you didn’t catch those again, you can just write me and [email protected] and I’ll be glad to send them to you. But getting those times away for at least a day now, it’s usually three nights away helps the phone to stop ringing. It helps to focus ourselves and remember that we love each other. And you can even do this as a single person on your own. Not, of course, the romance part, but you can take the seven areas and evaluate your wife.
Alan [00:13:46] The other thing is taking vacations. What is a vacation? A vacation is not going with your kids and putting up tents and cooking and serving them. To me, a vacation, a real vacation is you not doing the normal responsibilities that you always do and taking a break from the things that, you know, most of the time are just inundating you and could be with your spouse. It could be just you going alone, but taking time away from your everyday activities. And of course, Sabbath once a week. That’s what God prescribed, that once a week we should stop doing the things that we normally do and simply be mindful of Him. And we have a whole booklet on how to be burnout, take a sabbatical and again, feel free to go to our website for that exercise, diet and sleep.
Alan [00:14:49] When I went through a clinical depression for about a year and a half or two after my son died, the three things people kept telling me were, you need to make sure you go for walks. Even if you don’t feel like the scenery is beautiful right now because you’re hurting so much, you need to make sure your diet is right. Good vegetables, not too much sugar, not too much caffeine, or even cut that stuff out that will just sap you and then sleep. And there was a time where I needed some help sleeping in my depression. My mind would not shut off. And after three days, if I’m not sleeping, I pretty much will have to be put in the hospital. So I need my sleep. At that time, I did take something, took Ambien to be able to get to sleep. It would stop the mice that were running around in my head. And for some people it’s melatonin. For some people it’s just getting some good exercise before they sleep. My metabolism these days I cannot exercise after twelve o’clock or I won’t sleep at night.
Alan [00:15:58] So you need to figure out your exercise, your diet and your sleep patterns. And for some people, it’s getting curtains to block out all the light. I know if there’s just a little bit of light, I will, I have a hard time sleeping.
Alan [00:16:12] Then another thing would be your schedule, time for yourself. Time for your marriage. Time for your kids. I remember when we had three kids, I thought, how am I going to take these three kids out every week? And I didn’t. And what I started to do was schedule one of them each week and I would take them out to whatever McDonald’s or a park or would just go for a walk or go kick the soccer ball around. There were different things that they like, but the time for yourself in something that you like to do, it also could be just an hour or two hours of reading. One of the tips I found is if you have a voicemail, just tell people, Hi, this is Alan. I am not going to be available for the next three hours. I will return phone calls from 12 to one or I’ll return phone calls at the end of the day, I’m unavailable today if it’s an emergency and then give them either 911 one or somebody that you trust that can answer their questions, you know, but just that would give you the ability to control their expectation because everybody wants you to get back to them right away.
Alan [00:17:26] So in conclusion, as we end this time, there is a need for us to come apart before we come apart, to come apart, before we come apart. And my encouragement is for you to be proactive in this, don’t just be reactive, I think about Jesus when he was pressed in by all the crowds, he said, I have to go and be with my father. And he went across the lake and then he would be alone and then the disciples would find him. And what was he doing? He was praying. He was listening to God, his father, and getting what are the orders now for me?
Alan [00:18:08] Matthew 11:28-30 in the message says this, are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me. Work with me. Watch how I do it, learn the unforced rhythms of grace, I won’t let anything heavy or ill fitting on you keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Alan [00:18:50] Man, that just feels good. I’m going to read it again just because it just feels good just to read that thing. This is Matthew 11:28-30 in the message, are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me, get away with me, and you’ll recover your life, I’ll show you how to take a real rest, walk with me and work with me. Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t let anything heavy or ill fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Keep company with me. And you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
Alan [00:19:41] We’ve been walking our talk, learning how to fill our cup when everyone’s poking holes in it. This is Alan Heller and if you want any more information, go to our website, walkandtalk.org Or email me and [email protected] Or I’ll even give you the phone number 602-499-2711. If you have a question, if you’d like to hear a different kind of podcast, please get in touch with us. This is Alan Heller and we want you to walk your talk.
Pauly [00:20:22] This has been walking our talk with Alan and Pauly Heller, where we put into action those principles, we know from God’s word one step at a time, you can find more help at our website: walkandtalk.org.