Welcome IFBB Pro Leila Thompson - The Lord Lover with Stage Swagger - as she signs with FYF to become an Athletic Apostle!
What's up FAITH FAM!? Like Larry and Bob from early 2000 Veggie Tales DVDs, "Have we got a BLOG for you!" Forget the broccoli and celery, it's gotta be...BUFFblog Tales - because we've got some BIG NEWS!
At FLEX YOUR FAITH ActiveWear & WitnessWear we're always looking to expand God's Kingdom with the resources, creativity, and inspiration we've been given [1 Kings 3:12]. Just like Jesus's example throughout His life and the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the most powerful methods are through the ministry of discipleship and sharing personal stories and testimonies of His goodness. As Bible buffs, we're more interested in the fundamentals of solid Christ-like evangelism than we are with the fundamentals of a solid dead lift or bench press. Thank God we have eternal hope that extends beyond the trophies won and the biceps earned in this life, because not all that glitters is gold. Speaking of which, we've been fortunate enough have God bring someone who truly glitters on the inside and out onto Team FYF: IFBB Pro, Christ Follower, and Testifying Professional Trainer - LEILA THOMPSON!
Get Leila's "Earn Your Stripes" shirt NOW (pictured below)
Please join us in welcoming Leila, as she signs to become an Athletic Apostle! We're excited to introduce her to all of you, and thought the best way to do so would be with an interview. After reading below, you'll see just why we're so pumped up to have her on the Team!
[Be on the lookout for more interviews and specials with Leila including our YouTube channel and Instagam's Muscle Minute series. *Leila will also be designing her own custom FYF apparel, exclusively available to her fans and thousands of followers on her social media IG + FB (click and follow now)...so without further adieu, here she is - FLEX YOUR FAITH Athletic Apostle Leila Thompson!
FYF: Leila, it's so amazing to have met you and have you on our BUFFblog - thanks a million for being with us and sharing your story!
We've had the wonderful opportunity to get to know you recently beyond the obvious fact that you're a world class professional athlete in the IFBB with a sensational smile; so please introduce yourself and let our readers know who you are, and what you love!
LT: Well my name is Leila... I am 46 years young and I love Jesus and body building. That is the short answer, but it contains the most important aspects of who I am. I am a competitive person but compassionate, I have been through life but praise God I am only getting better not bitter. The most important thing is God's not done with me yet. Like my physique He is always changing me to become more.
FYF: When we're in God's will allowing Him to freely move and work in our lives, there are no coincidences! By the time this interview comes out we'll have made the official announcement that Leila Thompson and FLEX YOUR FAITH ActiveWear have teamed up to bring more glory to God! What an exciting honor to have you partner with us getting the word out about both the Gospel and our WitnessWear.
LT: This is true. There are no coincidences... I believe God uses all things in our lives to for our good!! I am thankful and honored to be apart of this Team and see it grow and be an effective force for the Kingdoms of God. Changes lives one rep at a time!!
FYF: You're a Christian Athlete, not an athlete who's also a Christian. Please share with us what that means, and why you self identify as a Christian first, even though you've accomplished so much in your profession/sport. We'd love to hear about your Testimony, how God has used your ever-expanding stage (pun intended) to reach the audience, the sport, and the world one soul at a time as your success leads to an elevated platform. If you break the word "Christian" down, you get CHRIST-IAN, or "Without CHRIST, I - Am - Nothing!" Many Believers have been broken down in order to be built back up
LT: Thanks to the God of second chances!!! I believe God will use whatever to get through to us. Faith is meant to be demonstrated...I was already a Christian before body building. But through this venue I saw how the principles of God work. One quick example what muscle is... scar tissue. Our scar tissue forms together, makes us stronger and creates a beauty that can not be made any other way. God uses our scars, pain, trauma, drama... to create our Testimony, gives us beauty from the ashes...we have to submit to His process the same way we submit to a diet or training regimen to get results. Without God I am nothing but scar tissue and hungry. With God all those things have a greater purpose. But the simple fact that He loved me when I was unlovable is why I love Him. He has proven Himself to me over and over.
FYF: Your rapidly growing social media accounts (like FB and IG) and YouTube views speak volumes about how you've been able to seamlessly mesh your passionate and driven character with your powerful and devoted walk with Christ. What struggles have you encountered along the way, and what advice would you give to aspiring athletes in their early phases, since you've already been there and done that with the trophies (and perhaps tears) as keepsakes?
LT: So at first my body building journey was for my own gratification. There were things God needed to work out of me and things He needed to correct so that He could do a work through me. What I realized over time was the way my physique looked attracted attention and people would come up to me. One of the things I had to work on was vanity. God showed me how to encourage people, not only in their fitness journey but in their life journey. Each encounter is different and every time I give glory to Him even if it is just a 'thank you Jesus.' In the body building world...it can be a dark place. But we are His light in this world called to be in dark places, where ever we go there He is. The enemy can pervert the good things our Father has given us and we need to take those things back for His glory. We don’t always have to preach Jesus. We need to be Like Jesus. No matter what arena God has us in. Then people will want to know what we know.
My advice to fellow athletes is...don’t shrink back. In victory or defeat. I used to feel the only way I could glorify God was with a win. If I didn't win I felt as though I failed God. What my ABBA Father showed me that my reaction in victory or defeat is what brings Him glory. [FYF Note: "Abba" Father is a phrase that relates to our childlike total dependence on our Saviour) So if I win, I praise Him and I am happy and joyful and when I lose. I praise Him and am happy and joyful. Those are the times that people can see the peace that passes all understanding and that we are running a race that will yield far more then a medal or trophy.
FYF: Finally Leila, we know who holds your future, so we'd love to know that right now as you imagine the quickly approaching 2018 new year, what's your future hold? Share with us what your fans, friends, and fellow Christ followers have to look forward to as you fight the good fight and build not only your physical temple, but your eternal one as well?
LT: I am currently off season...reflecting on what I can improve and change for this up coming season. I hope to do at least one show in 2018. I'll be putting more focus on helping other people make it to the stage or start their fitness journey. I am excited because the plans My Daddy God has for me are good!!!
Check out one of Leila's recent contest with some great photography from the 2017 IFBB Europa Orlando HERE and click over to FLEX ONLINE for some more inspiring images of Leila's Women's Physique competitions in the IFBB HERE!
A very big thank you and warm welcome to Leila Thompson for joining the FYF Muscle Ministry! To all our fit followers, buff believers, and swole servants of Christ that make up our #FAITHfam and #GODsquad...until next time Armour Up and MARCH ONWARD Christian Soldier! [Ephesians 6]
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Let's GrOw our FLEX & FAITH FAM of Bible Buffs & Athletic Apostles to reach the lost world by Running the Good Race for our eternal prize that awaits (Hebrews 12:1). Follow us above to share your stories/testimonies, ask questions (we'll always answer) and hash-tag us in your new God gear for special savings and be entered to win FREE Saviour Swag. GET YOUR FLEX ON and be a #PrayerEnhanced Athlete!
Have Questions, wanna say hi, or apply for an FYF ATHLETIC APOSTLE opportunity? Email us now! Please pray for us and keep flexing your spiritual gifts and physical talents for God's glory