Would You Take a Selfie With God?

No matter how old you get, I think you’ll agree that none of us will ever forget the friendships we had in High School. Those were formative years of our adolescence. And if you were anything like me, you had different friendships.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about!

I had 2-3 friends that my parents didn’t care for. They would strongly encourage me to stay clear of them. “That guy’s bad news, Brent” they would say. “They’re going to just get you into trouble.”

Generally speaking, they were wrong. One friend, however, they were dead right on with…..but that’s a different blog post 🙂

I digress.

Have you ever viewed God as a friend? You know, like the friends you associated with in school? Well, this thought entered my mind recently and I ended up mulling over it a while.

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Whether you already have a relationship with God or not, I think this concept of the Creator of the Universe actually wanting to have a real friendship with you and I is difficult to grasp. I mean….he’s God! But he still calls us ‘friends.’

Anyway, the more I thought about it I determined that there really are two types of friend that God offers to us. See what you think.

Friend #1 – That friend you have a lot in common with. You have so much fun just being together and in each other’s company. It doesn’t even matter what you’re doing. You really look forward to spending time together. This is the friend you’ve taken selfies with in about HALF of your Instagram feed.
Friend #2 – The person you work to build a relationship with because of what you can gain from them. Maybe because of who they know, what they have, or the position they hold. This friendship is not the kind that just evolves naturally. It requires initiative, but the investment is worth it!
I would argue that there are aspects of both in God. The longer we know him and spend real time with him, the more comfortable we become. The more we learn that he really is very relational.
Additionally, I’d be willing to bet that God would take the most epic selfie! (we just might have to edit the brightness down afterward)

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Discover Just One Word To Give You Focus In 2018

During the time of the New Year, many of us ponder things we would like to BEGIN doing versus those things we desperately want to STOP. Those things have historically been referred to as resolutions.

The problem with resolutions, as you know, is they tend to only last a few short weeks or months before we fail and ultimately forget them for the remainder of the year.

For this reason I gave up completely on New Year resolutions. About six years ago I discovered a much better replacement.

OneWord365

OneWord365 is both a CONCEPT and COMMUNITY. It is simple and powerful. The idea is to come up with just one single word that will ultimately be your theme for the entire next year. One word to focus on, to offer regular direction and reflection for your priorities. And there is an ever-growing Facebook Community where you can share your struggles, victories, and dreams around your one word.

That said, I’d like to expand on MY one word for 2018.

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Yep, MOMENTS! Not allowing those seemingly insignificant daily interactions and experiences to pass by unnoticed. Things like taking note of special, quiet moments with Jesus. Fully being in the ‘moment’ when with my family.

When I’m at the gym I’m focused on exercise. I’m not taking phone calls or replying to texts or emails.

I listen to music through my earbuds when having my quiet time. Our home often has a lot going on. Putting my earbuds in accomplishes two things. 1) It keeps me from being distracted by all that is going on around me, and 2) It is also a subtle way of letting my family know that I don’t want to be disturbed.

So, I simply want to be dedicated in the MOMENT of whatever I’m doing. In the past, I’ve learned that being too busy creates distractions. At the end of the day I could think back over my day and literally have no memory of 40 – 60 percent of what I actually did!

That’s a problem.

Here’s to a 2018 with focus that is also memorable.  How about you?

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I Don’t Want To Pray For Your Church

That’s right! I don’t want to pray for your church.

Jesus said He would build his Church.

I can tell you this, though. After 25 years of church ministry I’ve learned to pray for church leaders over anything else in the church.

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Here are 4 things I’ve discovered to be true when we prayer for pastors and other leaders in the church.

  • Healthy churches grow from healthy leaders, NOT the other way around.
  • We don’t see church congregations that are healthier than their leadership.
  • Our focus changes from ‘are they meeting my needs’ to a genuine desire to partner with them for stronger Kingdom impact.
  • We know that prayer works, and that our prayers can be powerful. Our prayers can make a huge difference in the personal and professional lives of our leaders.

If you lead a church or other ministry and would like prayer, I’d love to come along side you this week. Feel free to email me at BrentDumler@iCloud.com

 

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3 Hours On The Road With God In Wyoming

Have you ever experienced God in a completely opposite way than you were expecting?

Recently, my wife, daughter and I were relocating to Yakima, WA from Colorado Springs. As with any significant road trip involving three full days of travel and a 26 ft. moving truck, day 1 plagued me with anxiousness. I prefer not to travel after dark (which we were), and once we crossed over into Wyoming the weather turned on us. Not with snow and ice as you might assume in this region in November. No, mother nature decided to expose us to a bit of WIND. Specifically, 65+ MPH sustained winds!

Here’s a picture of the exact message we encountered as we approached the first town in Wyoming…

wyoming wind

At first, I was drawn to the ’65+MPH wind’ part of the sign. Soon thereafter, I experienced the frightening reality that I was indeed traveling in a ‘light high profile vehicle.’ I wanted to stop for the night, but the forecast for the next day predicted even worse winds. I had no real choice in the situation. We had to just push through. So, I continued on…one mile at a time at just 45 MPH. Any faster and the wind would have flipped the truck on it’s side!

Needless to say, we managed to get through Wyoming safely. But not on our own ability. During the worst 3 hours of the trip I prayed. It started off with me pleading with God to protect myself, all of our belongings, and my wife and daughter traveling behind me in the car.

What happened next was simply incredible! 

God transformed my heart. I was still white-knuckled and concerned the whole way, but He gave me the ability and heart to start praying for others. That’s right, I was praying over dozens of other people I know in the midst of my own fearful moments. Let me clarify, this is NOT a pat on the back for me. This was entirely a supernatural intervention.

This quote sums up my time with God nicely.

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More specifically, God was keeping company with me on this journey. As we neared our stopping point that night I felt as if God was saying to me “This was good. Let’s do this more often.” Personally, I have come a long way in my practice of prayer and general pursuit of God in the past 5 years. But I have so much more to learn and grow toward.

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” – 1 Chronicles 16:11 

 

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Farewell Colorado!

God has a new assignment for us….in WASHINGTON STATE.

After 2 years in Colorado Springs, Cailey and I will be moving to WA to lead the development of an existing Missional Community in the city of Yakima.

Friends, this has been a casual, ongoing discussion with leadership there since April.  Yes, since April!  It has taken us that long to seek God’s will and really KNOW that he is calling us to this.

We do ask for your prayers.  One of our kids plans to remain in Colorado, while another is heading to the Navy on 10/16.  If you know us, you know that we are a very close family.  This transition will undoubtedly be the most unique, most difficult one we’ve had yet.

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We plan to hit the road with a moving truck in the first part of November.  That’s another concern…traveling through CO, WY, and UT in the winter months.  But the Lord has led us this far.  Why would we doubt his protection in getting us there at this point?

Below is a mere sampling of how God has spoken to us over the past few months, in his Word, prayer, devotional readings, and worship music.

“Is there anyone I can send? … “I will go, send me!”  (from Isaiah 6:1-3, 5-8)
“The amount of faith God has given you is equal to the assignment He’s given you.”
“There’s a big difference between self-reliance and God reliance.”
“What you give to God, He handles.  What you keep, you handle.”
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Change, and huge steps of faith, have never been easy for our family.  They have, however, become a common theme in our journey of following Jesus.  In every new direction we have tried to focus more on obedience than determining what the sacrifice will be.

Max Lucado once wrote, “God promises a lamp unto our feet, not a crystal ball into our future.” 

We don’t really know what tomorrow has in store, BUT we do know that God will be there.  He will be there saying, “Thanks for taking those few steps with me.  Now, let’s keep on going.”

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Movements Toward God

Watch this music video by Rend Collective.  My personal insights follow below.

I pray the lyrics to this song meet you where you are in life today.

 

I simply LOVE this worship band (family).  I appreciate their hearts for worship and Kingdom Ministry.  Because of their obedience to God’s call on each of their lives, I’ve been encouraged and strengthened through some significantly challenging seasons in recent years.  In fact, one of my favorite songs (My Lighthouse) is the reason we have a developing lighthouse theme in our home.

Check out this verse from the video…

I wanna stand true
No matter what’s new or comes through
I can’t stand still
Whatever hits I’ll keep making movements to You

As a believer in Jesus, this is what I hope to be true of me.  That whatever hits my life, whenever it occurs, I will be able to continue making movements (progression) toward my God.

Would you consider sharing this post with someone you know this week?

 

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4 Important Ways To Make Your Marriage Last

Marriage requires work.  You’ve heard that before, right?  Well, on this day exactly 26 years ago my wife and I both vowed a lifetime of love and commitment to each other.  After 26 years I can tell you that it takes a lot more than work to keep a marriage alive.

It requires L.O.V.E.

Yeah, that might sound a bit cliche’ but hear me out.  The way I see it, both husband & wife must practice giving L.O.V.E. to one another in four unique ways. See if you agree.anniversary couple

LOYAL – As defined by Webster’s Dictionary:  faithful to one’s oath, commitments, or obligations. Simply put, we enter into marriage sharing a mutual commitment that this thing is forever.  We’re not keeping separate bank accounts or signing prenups as a back-up plan.  Allowing the thought, “In case it doesn’t work out” to resonate in our heads is like keeping a divorce attorney on the back burner. When my wife and I got married, we privately vowed that no matter how rough life might get we would never verbally or mentally consider the word ‘divorce.’  If we are not saying “I do” to forever, then why would we consider saying “I do” to today?

OPEN-HANDED – When our hands are kept open, things are able to enter and leave freely.  Keeping an open-handed approach in marriage helps to prevent non-essentials (relationships, possessions, hobbies, etc.) from shoving our spouse out of the way.  My wife and I are both 1st borns and Type-A personalities.  You know what that means?  Yup, we both love getting our own way.  So we really work at this one!

VERBAL – Here we go.  ‘Communication.’  Probably the most commonly referenced word in premarital counseling.  If you ask me, couples don’t divorce because of financial hardship, disagreements, falling out of love, or even affairs.  Those are all byproducts of poor communication.  Work hard to talk regularly about your worries, blessings, plans, needs, and even insecurities with your spouse.  Vulnerability and openness builds an unshakable foundation for your marriage.

ENTERTAINING – I don’t care if you’re introverted or extroverted.  Have fun together!  Try new things until you discover what you both enjoy.  And be flexible.  Give a little….for the sake of connectedness.  Recently, our dryer went out.  So, my wife and I have been grabbing coffee on the way to the laundromat and calling it a ‘date.’  That’s not for everyone, but it works for us.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 

What would YOU add to this list for keeping marriage healthy and vibrant?

 

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