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A New Thought on the Feeding of the Five Thousand

Don’t you just love it when you’re reading a familiar scripture, one that you’ve read or heard taught on many times before, and something completely new jumps off the page and grabs your attention? Well, that happened to me today so I wanted to share it with you.

I was in Mark 6 today, reading probably one of the most popular and well-known stories in the entire New Testament. Remember the feeding of the five thousand? Let me sum up.

The disciples had just wrapped up a ton of ministry work and teaching and were blogreporting to Jesus. To which, Jesus asked them to come away with him to a remote place away from the demands of ministry for a time of rest and rejuvenation. They haven’t even really had time to eat. When they had arrived by boat to their destination the crowds met them there. They were recognized from the shoreline and word got around (as it usually did with Jesus).

So, Jesus had compassion on them and continued many teachings into the evening time. This is where it gets interesting! The disciples suggested sending the crowds into the nearby villages to get dinner. I think they really wanted to just get something to eat for themselves. I don’t blame them, I’d have suggested it myself. I love food. But no, the work was to continue because Jesus instructed them to give the people something to eat.

The disciples replied with (I hear a bit of sarcasm in this text) asking him if they should spend a large amount of cash to buy enough bread to feel them all. Jesus asks them quite simply, “How many loaves do you have?” To this, the disciples said, “Five, and two fish.” The story continues from there with how they organized the crowd in groups and everyone ate until they were full. And of course…the leftovers.

Here’s my reflection point. Jesus didn’t ask them anything about fish. He simply asked how much bread they had. I have a couple thoughts on this.

First…the disciples knew their teacher’s heart. Maybe they were simply saving time getting him their entire food inventory knowing he’d probably ask after hearing about the fish.

Or…they could have suspected Jesus was about to do something miraculous (this is my belief) and their hearts were inclined to bring all they had to him in faithful obedience.

This is what God spoke to me in this revelation. When Jesus is about to do something incredible and asks you and I to be part of his work, it’s best to allow him to work with all that we have to offer. This doesn’t always mean that he’s going to use all we have, but I think it’s a heart thing. Don’t you? Just because Jesus doesn’t ask us for something specific does not necessarily mean he doesn’t want it.

What does this section of scripture speak to you today? How is God talking to you through his Word in this season? Comment below 🙂

 

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You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Please give my podcast a listen this week. We engage in discussions of faith with popular actors, musical artists, and athletes. Check out the Faith & Entertainment podcast!

 

 

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Faith & Entertainment Podcast Series

Welcome to the Faith & Entertainment Podcast! Each episode features followers of Jesus who are professional athletes, recording artists, or actors. I interview each influential guest on their personal faith, how it has impacted their professional careers, and how they journey through difficult seasons of life with Jesus.

Hover over pictures below to reveal guests names. Click anywhere on the collage to visit the podcast home to begin listening!

 

Let me know who YOU would like me to interview next for this series! Drop a comment below. I am an ordained pastor in the Church of God. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and have been working in faith-based counseling for over 20 years. Each of these discussions have greatly encouraged me, and I pray they encourage you too.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

If YOU are a Christian entertainer and would like to be a guest on the podcast, simply email me at brentdumler@icloud.com. I’d love to talk with you!

 

 

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My OneWord For 2020

I’ve been participating in the OneWord365 movement for well over 6 years now. The concept of focusing on just one single word for an entire year has helped me to give concentrated attention to an area of my life in a simple but powerful way.

For both 2018 & 2019, I used #Moments in social media posts involving family, special occasions, etc. to help me acknowledge the daily blessings in life that I might normally let slip by. I’ve learned to not take these for granted.

After having the same word for two consecutive years, it took weeks for me to discover my word for 2020. But, here it is…LEAN.

OneWord 2020

First and foremost, I desire to LEAN into the person, presence, and influence of Jesus daily.

Second, I cheated a bit on this so that I could incorporate four additional words. I spelled out ‘LEAN’ within the words Daily, Reset, Peace, and Kindness.

Daily – Building predictable patterns, or regular habits, into my life has become something of great importance to me. Simply stated (and not so simply practiced), I want to maintain this focus each and every day. This requires discipline and prioritizing.

Reset – If I keep this specific area of focus in front of me each day it will allow me to ‘reset’ my mind, my attitude, and my priorities.

Peace – Also known as calm, restful, and tranquil. Philippians 4:7 reminds me, ‘And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ Who doesn’t desire this?

Kindness – Confession time. It seems that the older I get, the more irritable I become with even small things. So, I want to practice the art of reacting slowly.  James 1:19 says, ‘Let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;’

Here’s the connection. Only by effectively leaning into Jesus every day will I be able to grow in these other four areas.

Lastly,  as a new approach to my OneWord I will be writing a 7-day scripture/prayer reflection based on my OneWord. This really excites me.

Do YOU have a OneWord365 to give you clear vision in 2020? (Sorry, I had to slip that in there) Leave a comment below.

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You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

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2019 Faith and Entertainment Blog Series

Welcome to the ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series, where I interview followers of Jesus who work in the entertainment industry, i.e., musicians, athletes, actors, etc.

WHY did I start doing these interviews? Two reasons. 1. I have a deep appreciation of  music and acting.  2. I am very passionate about personal soul care and authentic discussions about living out our daily faith. So, I figured…why not blend the two?

CLICK on a picture below to read (or HEAR) each interview.

Mary Sarah 2 Blog
Recording Artist: Mary Sarah
April Kry 1 Blog
Recording Artist: April Kry
Lucas Hoge 2 Blog
Recording Artist: Lucas Hoge
Kaitlyn Baker 3 Blog
Recording Artist: Kaitlyn Baker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashley Sutton Blog
Actress: Ashley Sutton
Holly Tucker Blog
Recording Artist: Holly Tucker
Curtis Grimes Blog
Recording Artist: Curtis Grimes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE & LISTEN to the new podcast on Spotify and Soundcloud.

 

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Let me know who YOU would like me to interview next for this series! Drop a comment below. I am an ordained pastor in the Church of God. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and have been working in faith-based counseling for over 20 years. Each of these discussions have greatly encouraged me, and I pray they encourage you too.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

I Lost My Job Today

Yesterday was Monday, but it was my Friday. I lost a job yesterday. The wave of emotions was mixed. In the 30+ years that I’ve been in the workforce this is the first time I’ve actually been ‘let go.’ It was also the main (largest) source of income for our family. Pride and providence are key themes here. God would rather I not be prideful in a job or position. And providing for our family’s needs is ultimately his job, not mine. Yes, I must work. But I shouldn’t worry about if our needs will be met according to my efforts.

Now, I also co-pastor a Missional Community (a faith family) with my amazing wife in Yakima, WA. And I work very part-time at a local grocery store. So, it’s not like I’m unemployed. But it was a pretty significant loss.

This morning I didn’t need to get up at 4:30am for work. I awoke at 9:39am, focusing on my health as I head into this new season. And in my coffee time with Jesus he led me to the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6. Between this and other readings my wife shared with me came this encouragement and direction.

Jesus reminded me that I’m to practice all of these, not only focus on just one. Praying all the time isn’t very effective if I’m not going to listen. And spending all my time searching only goes so far if I’m not spending time with God and in his written word.

I’m in a new season. And God has blessed me with incredible peace that he is here with me and his plan will be revealed soon.

What is God reassuring you in this season?

What is ‘Effective’ Discipleship?

What does it REALLY take to disciple someone?

A disciple is a LEARNER. And when we look at how Jesus interacted with his ‘learners,’ we notice 3 forms of engagement.
1. He taught them, both verbally and by example.
2. He let them experience his WHOLE life, not just the rainbows & unicorns side. (come on, we all have a unicorn side)
3. He extended grace & patience when they screwed things up.

Here’s what we DON’T see in Scripture. Or at least I don’t see it.
1. Jesus taught in the Synagogues (churches), but we don’t see him teaching a Sunday School class on discipleship.
2. He doesn’t provide us with a step-by-step process for making disciples.
3. He definitely doesn’t ask his disciples to do anything that isn’t already a regular part of his own life.
descipelship
After over 20 years in vocational ministry, I’ve learned that doing organic, unfiltered life with others is the most EFFECTIVE kind of discipleship. We must not place a completion date on it, allowing Jesus to determine that. And lastly, each of us as followers of Jesus really needs to practice being the teacher AND the student…the Rabbi AND the disciple. Meaning, we should be simultaneously learning from the lives of other strong believers AND intentionally guiding others to deeper understanding of God’s Kingdom by way of OUR EXAMPLE.

What’s YOUR experience been with the issue of Christian discipleship? I’m super interested and would appreciate it if you’d drop a comment below.

 

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Please give my podcast a listen this week. We engage in discussions of faith with popular actors, musical artists, and athletes. Check out the Faith & Entertainment podcast!

The Piece Of ThanksGIVING We Often Miss

I would argue that most of us tend to view Thanksgiving as a time of enjoying the bounties of life with those closest to us. The copious platters of turkey, stuffing, and pie serve as reminders to us that we really do have much to be thankful for.

This approach, however, limits the full opportunity that Thanksgiving provides us. thankful-quote

Thanksgiving is also a designated time of GIVING ‘thanks.’ It’s being mindful of those things that we subconsciously take for granted. And the ‘giving’ aspect of Thanksgiving is meant to be the verbal recognition of these blessings to the people who are connected to them. Additionally, being mindful of all that we should be thankful for actually works to prevent entitlement. Pastor and author, John Ortberg, put it this way.

“Gratitude is the ability to experience life as a gift. It liberates us from the prison of self-preoccupation.”

This is so true! When we view life as a gift, rather than something we’ve earned, it’s more difficult to grow big-headed egos. David expressed it this way in Psalm 9:1.

“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.”

Here are 3 practical tips for exercising gratitude.

  1. Search the internet for a new passage of scripture or quote on gratitude each day. Then, meditation on it for 2-5 minutes.
  2. Jot down 3 things you are thankful for in your life and post it on your fridge or next to your coffee maker. Make a new list each week.
  3. Thank someone, no matter how small it might seem, each day for how they contributed positively to your life.

What would you add to this list? Comment below.

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You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

Interview with Andrew East & Shawn Johnson East

My next interview in the Faith & Entertainment series is with Olympic Gymnast, Shawn Johnson and NFL athlete, Andrew East. What an amazing conversation!

I’m also thrilled to announce that this blog series has officially transitioned into the Faith & Entertainment PODCAST. That’s right. Moving forward, all interviews with persons of faith in the entertainment industry will be recorded and made available on the new podcast.

And I’m so excited to have Shawn and Andrew be my guests on episode 001. I’ve included our discussion below. Give it a listen.

I hope you enjoyed listening to this interview. And if you don’t want to miss out on future interviews, please jump on over to the podcast page and click the ‘FOLLOW’ button.

 

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Interview w/ Curtis Grimes

Curtis Grimes is a country music artist in Texas, a husband, father, and tenacious follower of Jesus. You’ll understand why I use ‘tenacious’ after you read about his story.

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This is a guy who is very much a family man and 100% committed to great country music. He finished in the top ten on Season 1 of The Voice in 2011. I can tell you, however, he is not willing to compromise his purpose or message in the venues or other opportunities that come his way.

Enjoy my interview with Curtis Grimes, and please check out his music and give him a follow.

[Brent]  When did you get started in music?

[Curtis]  I kind of got a late start when it comes to creating a music career. I really slipped away from God from somewhere in my High School years and following through college. This bled over into the first several years of my music career.

 

[Brent]  What would you say is the single most challenging part for country music artists to stay strong in their faith in this industry?

[Curtis]  Going against the grain. You’re the outcast as a persistent person of faith in this industry. You’re not selling out venues. Not playing in any major festivals. So, I treat this as my personal mission field in an environment they (the audience) didn’t probably expect to hear about Jesus. Simply put, being OK with saying ‘no’ to anything that might hinder advancing my career has got to be one of the toughest things for me.

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[Brent]  What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?

[Curtis]  For me, it started at age 19. Before that was baseball and earning a scholarship in college. After this period of my life came ‘the conviction.’ Recording artist, Aaron Watson, said this: “The  hardest prayer to pray is if success comes from sacrificing my integrity and faith and voice for Jesus, then I need to do something else.” This was a major turning point in my life and career.

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[Brent]  What does Curtis’ personal quiet time look like?  How do you connect with God best?

[Curtis]  For me, it’s literally an ongoing grind. Every day, hour, and minute has to have some sort of connection to Jesus so I don’t slip up. I wake up and pray a 20-30 minute prayer every morning before I even get out of bed. I also make sure I read a chapter in my Bible app. Listening to sermons/messages on my phone while at the gym is something that motivates me more than listening to music while I workout. At night, my wife and I pray together with our daughter and read a devotional. I’ve just learned that ever since my conviction, I will slip away quickly if I don’t maintain this pattern of connection.

 

[Brent]  We all experience constant hills and valleys, and the seasons in between. Regarding your most recent valley, can you describe how you weathered it? Prayer, scripture, wise counsel, music?

[Curtis]  My last 3-4 years has been a 180 degree difference from when I’m not staying connected. A couple of years ago my grandfather passed away. It was a smooth process because I was staying connected regularly. If I hadn’t been, losing him would’ve been much more difficult. It’s a difference in having peace vs. worry and trying to fix things myself. It’s how we interpret those valleys when we’re in them.

 

[Brent]  Is God teaching you anything new right now?

[Curtis]  Being patient with the new ministry I started. I want more ministry to happen more regularly. It’s not where I want to be now, but I need to be patient. I produced a Country Gospel album after numerous requests and God providing the resources for it through a fund raiser.  After the album, there was even more money left over so I started buying Bibles in bulk to give to anyone who didn’t have one. This continues to be something I’m really passionate about.

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[Brent]  If you were to pass on to heaven tomorrow and all but one of your songs ceased to exist, which one would you want to remain for people to hear and why?

[Curtis]  Born to die! This song came out of my first co-write in Nashville after the conviction. I asked if we could prayed first, and then wrote this song.

 

[Brent]  Do you have any personal boundaries for accountability with so much available to you?

[Curtis]  Well, I’m always sober. That’s the easy thing. I also try to go to church even while on the road. I also ask my band to be sober and encourage them to do church too. I read the Bible in my hotel room when away from home. And if they don’t have one of the Gideon Bibles in my room I’ll leave one of mine in the nightstand drawer.

 

[Brent]  What made you want to do this interview?

[Curtis]  I will take every opportunity to talk about my faith and the rest of my story, period.

 

Where to connect with Curtis and his music:

Spotify / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Website / Youtube

 

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

Subscribe to the blog Here and never miss a post.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!