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Didn’t See It Coming [review]

Here’s my review of Carey Nieuwhof’s latest book. [I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book]

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Carey Nieuwhof offers powerful insight and reflection in his latest book, ‘Didn’t See It Coming.’  (order your copy HERE)

He combines wisdom with personal authenticity in a ways that all of us can relate.

One of the inevitable challenges we will all face at some point in life is the reality of irrelevance. Carey says…

The barrier to change, of course, is that anything that deviates from your default–your normal–will feel unfamiliar, challenging, and sometimes even threatening.

This section on irrelevance was the most challenging for me personally. I’m still working through what my approach to this challenge is going to look like.

He may have written on irrelevance in a chapter or two, but this book is clearly one of the most relevant reads of the year! Please take my word for it and be sure to get a copy. And then take your time reading through it. Highlight, underline, or journal your thoughts in Evernote as you read.

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the book.

“When you’re no longer breathing, the legacy you’ll leave will center on your character.”

“Progress begins with self-honesty.”

“As a culture, the more connected we’ve become, the more isolated we’ve grown.”

“Conversation has become a press conference with whomever happens to be listening.”

“You can make excuses or you can make progress, but you can’t make both.”

“Culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.”

“…keep changing, learning, and evolving. Change starves off irrelevance.”

 

Learn more about Carey

You can stay connected with Carey Nieuwhof at Twitter and Instagram. And if you are a CNLPpodcast listener you really need to check out the Carey Nieuwhof Leadershp Podcast!

 

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3 Things to Avoid When God Begins to Speak

The other night, I sat down to have what I assumed was going to be 20-30 minutes of prayer and reading in one of my devotionals.

Then, God showed up and decided to join me!  What a novel concept.

I read one random page in my devotional book containing one particular scripture verse.  Next, I felt prompted to check out the verse of the day in YouVersion.  This was a different passage, but same theme.  Huh?

I then decided I would pop my earbuds in and experience some worship music.  You want to know something?  The bridge of the song I chose relayed the exact same message as those two scripture passages!  What the heck?  You know God’s trying to get your attention when he puts the same thing in front of you 3 different times.

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When God takes you down this sort of path, it goes without saying that it would be wise to pay attention more than usual.  I would suggest, however, 3 things to avoid when he starts speaking this clearly.

  1. Avoid DISTRACTIONS – Remain in that moment as long as possible.  But sometimes God catches us just as we are on our way out the door to work or an important engagement.  In these times, it is critical that we come back to this moment and word with God as early as possible to allow him to continue speaking.
  2. Avoid HURRY – Don’t jump to conclusions trying to quickly decipher what is being said.  The things of God are often quite large and can take time for us to truly gain a grasp on the specifics of what he is either telling us or asking of us.  Be patient.  Meditate calmly on his voice.
  3. Avoid PRIVACY – Shortly after you’ve had a bit of time to process what you are experiencing with God, go ahead and share it with 1-3 people.  These should be individuals who you know love Jesus and who honestly care about you and your future.  Ask them for their thoughts on what God might be saying.  Then, look for a common theme.

What have your experiences been when God starts communicating in such a bold way that your mind and heart are simply taken captive?  I’d love for you to leave a comment below.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

How To Choose Joy In The Tough Things

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Last week I had the privilege to hear Skye Jethani speak at our District Pastors’  Conference.

This is a quote from his talk that really grabbed my attention. Let me provide a little context.

Examples of some things we DO NOT choose: medical diagnosis, unemployment, depression, ministry calling, where we are born, divorce, changes in social behavior, our parents, etc.

Some of these can be GOOD, and we all know that some can equally be UNFAVORABLE.

Now, it’s easy for us to choose JOY in the things we actually choose; things we had a say in. But it’s another issue when a life circumstance makes its way into our lives that we have little to no control over.

The REAL QUESTION to ask, then, is this. Does God have a purpose for me in this particular situation? And even though I DON’T LIKE IT, can I embrace it as my current reality and TRUST GOD to work through me?

So you see, making a conscious decision to choose (own) what we didn’t actually choose in the first place can be a real game changer.

What UNCHOSEN circumstance are you in today? What might it look like if you chose to OWN IT?

I’d love to hear what you think. Leave a comment below. You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

 

3 Tips To Implementing Strong Social Media Boundaries To Protect Your Marriage

If you’re married or engaged and one or both of you are active on Social Media, take a minute to watch this short video. I’d love to hear what you think, especially if you’ve done anything similar in your relationship.

 

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below or connect with me on INSTAGRAM.

For specific questions about your marriage, email me brentdumler@icloud.com  

May God bless you with a fulfilling, happy, and long marriage together!

Join the #Identify3 Challenge

Needing a change of PERSPECTIVE this week…this month…this year?

Sometimes all we need is to modify our ATTENTION for our perspective to obtain clarity.

Try counting your blessings each morning. Like, REALLY counting them.

List them.

Acknowledge each blessing from God.

Challenge yourself to identify 3 ‘different’ blessings each day for a solid week. You will have a list of at least 21 unique, freely given blessings by day 7. Then, take time on the 8th day to give special thanks to Jesus for each of them.

And even if you’re not a follower of Jesus, that’s OK!  Simply recognizing the GOOD THINGS in our lives is something everyone should be able to do.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I’m going to do this myself!  Comment below if you’re going to accept the challenge too.  Also consider sharing this post wherever you are on social media.

Use the hashtag #Identify3 with your posts. 

To get you started well, enjoy this music video by Rend Collective! (they’re amazing)

 

Connect with me on Instagram. That’s where I spend most of my time.

God Is Thinking About You

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.”

The Psalmist is reflecting on God’s NUMEROUS & CONTINUOUS thoughts of him.

You are ALWAYS on God’s mind. His hopes and dreams for you far surpass those of the best of friends or even the most loving parent.

And regardless of how many times we’ve made poor choices in life, He is ALWAYS there…READY to help guide us toward those hopes & dreams. ALWAYS!

Today is a new day. Yesterday (and all of its garbage) is gone. It’s in the past. While our past does play into who we are today, it DOES NOT determine who we are to become tomorrow.

What changes do you need to make today so that yesterday doesn’t repeat?

Write it down.

Tell a friend.

And ask God to help you succeed. He really does want to see you succeed… full of joy & purpose.

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

And be sure to follow me on Instagram & Twitter at brent_dumler !

Win Your Community Back

One top definition of ‘COMMUNITY’ online is this:

– a unified body of individuals with common interests living in a particular area.

But I have a question. How can these individuals KNOW if they have common interests if they don’t actually KNOW each other? Furthermore, If we don’t KNOW each other we can’t really be UNIFIED, can we?

I love this quote about community by Erwin McManus:

“The more isolated and disconnected we are, the more shattered and distorted our self-identity. We are not healthy when we are alone. We find ourselves when we connect to others. Without community we don’t know who we are…

When we live outside of healthy community, we not only lose others. We lose ourselves…Who we understand ourselves to be is dramatically affected for better or worse by those we hold closest to us.”

I believe this to be true in my own life. And this is a huge part of what our Missional Community is trying to model here in the Yakima Valley. We can and should get to know our neighbors next door (this was a thing once upon a time). Offering random acts of KINDNESS to complete strangers can be an amazing experience, for them and US. It doesn’t have to be awkward or impersonal.

CHALLENGE: Introduce yourself to a neighbor near where you live. Take them cookies or brownies. Explain that you simply want to know who your neighbors are. Then, watch their reactions! We live in a cul-de-sac and have done this with about half of our neighbors so far. ALL of them have been welcoming to us and almost refreshed by the interaction. Two of them actually asked my wife and I into their home for a few minutes!

Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

The Gift Of Joy

Blessing OTHERS with the gift of JOY, and dropping the need for their approval, is actually a gift to OURSELVES as well.

“These things I have spoken to you, that my JOY may be in you, and that your joy may be FULL.”

John 15:11

Go ahead and read the first 10 verses prior to this to learn what ‘these things’ are that Jesus was talking about.

And something I discovered about this? It’s MUCH easier to make others smile than it is to get them to think highly of you.