How To Choose Joy In The Tough Things

Jethani

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!

 

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.

‚ÄúWhen you‚Äôre no longer breathing, the legacy you‚Äôll leave will center on your character.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúProgress begins with self-honesty.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúAs a culture, the more connected we‚Äôve become, the more isolated we‚Äôve grown.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúConversation has become a press conference with whomever happens to be listening.‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúYou can make excuses or you can make progress, but you can‚Äôt make both.‚ÄĚ

“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!

 

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.

The Myth Of Balance (Book Review)

Until we take responsibility, we will continue to pursue balance and blame others when we can’t find it. ¬†– Frank Bealer

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I’ve been in church leadership for over 20 years, and I’ve experienced A LOT of dysfunction in the church. ¬†The size of the church doesn’t decrease or increase the severity of the dysfunction either. ¬†But I will say this. ¬†The last 3 churches I’ve had the honor of serving on staff at were roughly 750, 1000, and currently 2000 in weekend attendance. ¬†The dysfunction is the same. ¬†It’s the QUANTITY that gets you!

But let’s not blame the church. ¬†The church is made up of people (you and I), and it’s no different than a marriage relationship. ¬†Problems are almost always connected to both sides. ¬†That’s what I appreciate about this book. ¬†It addresses the side leaders can have direct influence on. ¬†OURSELVES!

I have been following Frank Bealer for the past few years and have enjoyed listening to his interviews on Carey Nieuwhof’s Leadership Podcast. ¬†The Myth of Balance, however, elaborates on an entirely deeper level of Frank the leader, and Frank the husband/father. ¬†He is authentic with certain ministry challenges, and if you’ve been in ministry longer than 6 months you will likely relate. ¬†In fact, there were two points in the book which caused a knot in my throat (Don’t judge. ¬†I’m more sensitive than the average guy).

Disclaimer: ¬†This book is NOT for leaders who are hung up on ego and need to be NEEDED by the church. ¬†It is, however, for those who are clearly called to making a difference in God’s Kingdom work while SIMULTANEOUSLY leading a healthy family.

Let’s get to the book. ¬†Below is a short list of my favorite quotes from The Myth of Balance.

“Balance. It lives somewhere between unemployment and renowned success.”

“God never intended for us to sacrifice the family He blessed us with on the altar of the ministry He called us to.” ¬†(read that one a couple more times)

“We often excuse our mismanagement of time, energy, and effort as just being busy.”

“Just because you FEEL overwhelmed doesn’t mean your work schedule is paralyzing you.”

WHEN THIS, THEN THAT… it’s coming to realize that exceptions in ministry are going to happen. ¬†They always do. ¬†So Frank offers a practical approach to planning for these exceptions. ¬†Get a copy for you and your team HERE and discover your¬†WHEN THIS, THEN THAT. ¬†I promise…..this will create real growth conversations in your staff.

 

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

 

2 Benefits of Keeping our Blessings in Mind

I’m creating a Praise Challenge for the entire month of December. ¬†Follow me on Instagram and Twitter to stay in the know each week.

I don’t know about you, but I have a TON to be thankful for. ¬†The majority of 2016 has been extremely challenging for me. ¬†The Lord, however, has his hands in all of our ‘challenges,’ usually in ways we are not immediately aware of.

Take a quick look at these two scripture passages:

My soul, praise the Lord,
and do not forget all His benefits. – Psalm 103:2
and
Rejoice always!
Pray constantly.
Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Р1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

The issue of Praising Him in everything has been on my mind lately. ¬†It’s been in my devotion time, and it was the topic of our Chapel time at work this past Friday.

Here are just 2 benefits to keeping our blessings in mind every day.

  1. Our challenges and needs become less pronounced as we go about our day when we intentionally try to identify all the different blessings that we do have.
  2. It can change our attitudes.  Our entire outlook on life can do a 180 turnaround when we realize that we really do have many more blessings in our life than we do hardships.

So, do you want to experience less anxiety caused by the things that worry you?  Would you like to have more of an optimistic outlook on life?  If so, start counting your blessings and praise the one who is the true source of all that you and I have to be thankful for.

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If you are interested, here’s the Praise Challenge for all of December. ¬†Every Monday identify 5 blessings in your life. ¬†Then, simply pray over them and praise Jesus for them each day of the week. ¬†If you want, you can even post them on social media to encourage others to jump in too. ¬†If you do, please remember to use #PraiseChallenge on each post. ¬†Each Monday we will identify and share 5 new blessings to praise Him for.

How does that sound?

This December, may you be blessed in your search for all the ways Jesus really is actively taking care of you.

Don’t miss another post on this blog! ¬†Click HERE to subscribe. ¬†Thanks so much for stopping by today.

 

Why Churches Should Be In The Habit Of Spilling The Beans

I spilled the beans the other day at work. ¬†No, I ‘literally’ blew coffee beans all over the place while trying to suck them out of the espresso hopper. ¬†What I didn’t realize is that someone had left the vacuum hose attached to the wrong end, blowing beans into the air and all over the floor and counter. ¬†It was quite a scene.

Where certain sayings come from is fascinating to me. ¬†So, I looked up Don’t Spill The Beans and found this popular source of origin.

A popular folk etymology for “to spill the beans” claims that in ancient Greece, applicants for membership in secret societies were voted upon by having the existing members drop beans into a pottery jar. Those who approved of the potential new member would signal an affirmative vote by adding a white bean to the jar. A black bean indicated a negative vote. The story goes that on occasion, when the jar was accidentally knocked over, the beans poured out and the vote was revealed prematurely. Somebody had “spilled the beans“.

beans2

This got me thinking about leadership in our churches. ¬†In almost all situations, we know that God works in the Light and the enemy does his thing in darkness. ¬†Way too often, churches choose to lead and do business in the dark. ¬†This comes in the form of secrete ballots for voting, allowing anonymous notes and emails to affect the staff, holding ‘unofficial’ side discussions outside of official meetings, and ignoring valid concerns of¬†unhealthy trends within the congregation hoping they will eventually go away.

At a very basic level, these things create distrust, worry, and skepticism of the leadership and among the people in the church.

“The more a church can truly be open about everything, the fewer dark places there are for the enemy to succeed in dividing the Church”

Leaders, are there issues that you’ve been keeping from your church people under the excuse of protecting them? ¬†Imagine the new credibility you could gain from them if you were to allow them into the leadership struggles you are facing. ¬†Imagine what might happen if you allowed them to partner with you and the leadership of your church in prayer…together as a real family.

Don’t underestimate the strength and maturity of your congregation. ¬†Their purpose extends far beyond making coffee, paying a tithe, and listening to a sermon.

Open up to your people, spill the beans and watch God do his best work in the light.

 

Comments below are welcome.  You can also subscribe to this blog here!

 

 

Pause, Priorities, & Purpose

Do you ever feel like the picture below?  Too many things (projects, ideas, tasks, relationships) going on at once?

balance

Me too!  There are seasons in all of our lives when we need to work really hard and multitask through it all to accomplish something.  But, there are also other seasons in which we need to PAUSE enough to evaluate our current PRIORITIES to make sure we are still on course with our PURPOSE in life.

Sometimes this means temporarily giving up things we enjoy to put more focus on the most important things.  For most of us, this moment becomes pretty obvious once we take on one more thing that threatens the balance of all of it.

Recently, my wife and I decided to take a huge step of faith and co-write our first book!  It will be about living a life of faith and healthy service in the Church while continuing to nourish a thriving marriage and home life.   Personally, I am also working, finishing up my Sociology degree online, and starting a church leadership consulting ministry.

Unfortunately, this means I need to take a break from blogging for a while. ¬†This blog is more for me than anyone else. ¬†It’s been like a journal. ¬†But for those who read it, I do encourage you to stay connected with me on social media. ¬†I’m much more active in these places anyway. ¬† The book is scheduled to be complete by the first part of 2017.

Follow me at Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Enough about me. ¬†What about you? ¬†Is your current balancing act going well, or are there ‘plates‘ as risk of crashing to the ground?

Please comment below or interact where you saw it posted.

 

photo credit: http://www.lcius.com