3 Things To Do In The Middle Of Your Troubles

If you’re anything like me, when I have trouble or stress in my life all I want to do is eat, complain, and remain as inactive as possible.  Hey, I’m just being honest.  Can you relate?

Lately, God has been leading me into a particular season of prayer.  It’s been one of seeking his heart and hearing his voice.   Life hasn’t necessarily been full of trouble or difficulty recently, but it has presented a lot of busyness.  And if you’re like me, busyness has the tendency to distract.  Auto-pilot becomes a natural and sub-conscious state of being.

When we come to realize that we are in this ‘funk,’ three key actions will aid to reset our priorities and improve our spiritual mental capacity.

Romans 12:12 reminds you and I to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

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Here’s what we can take away from this one powerful verse.

  1. Rejoice in hope – That’s right, we have real hope in the promises of God.  His word is reliable.  And whether we can feel him actively involved in our circumstances or not, we can be reassured in the hope that we really do ‘know’ that he is.
  2. Be patient in tribulation – In our pain, misery, and distress we can easily allow ourselves to become anxious.  But God’s word instructs us to be patient.  For me, this is a kind reminder that life comes in seasons.  They all come and go.  Sure, some last longer than others.  But patience allows us to chill out while God is doing his thing.  He’s not oblivious to your current state of life.  Release your stress to him and trust.
  3. Be constant in prayer – ‘Constant’…meditation is what comes to mind here.  Prayer doesn’t always have to be kneeling in a dark closet (I’m not sure I’ve ever even done this).  I would suggest that ‘constant in prayer’ simply means to remain in a state of continual awareness of God’s involvement in our lives throughout the day.  My prayer life totally changed once I learned how to remain mindful of God’s presence around me throughout my entire day…AND once I learned the habit of talking with him in the midst of that presence.

So, try this today.  Write it down.  Ask a friend or spouse to join in this quest with you.  Claim your joy in the hope we have in God, move patiently through the season you are in, and saturate your days in prayer.

Comments, prayer requests, and questions are welcome below.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

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Fat Guys & Entrepreneurs

I had a revelation today.  Fat guys who run are a lot like entrepreneurs!

Let me explain.

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I noticed a middle-aged man running this morning.  He looked like he was about 40 – 50 lbs overweight.  This was evident because parts of him were moving that really should not have been moving (if you know what I mean).

Amide this awkward moment, it dawned on me.  He and I are a lot alike.  Sure, I have a few extra pounds to lose too, but there was something else.  He is obviously new to fitness and I’m new to the entrepreneur life.  For this guy to lose weight he needs to stay motivated and committed daily.  This applies to my entrepreneur efforts BIG TIME!  And finally….good results come with time.  He’s not going to lose 50 lbs over night, and I can’t expect to have a speaking / consulting opportunity every weekend right out of the gates.

It really is a combination of realistic expectations and diligent effort.

What are YOU working on right now?  Do you struggle with staying motivated or unrealistic expectations?  If so, you’re not alone.

Feel free to comment on this post below, or contact me at brentdumler@icloud.com if you might be interested in some personal coaching.

Let’s connect on Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, and Snapchat.

 

photo credit: macsstuff.net 

Keep It Stupid Simple

You and I tend to overcomplicate our purpose…calling…life mission…and our OneWord365 of focus for the year.  Do you agree?

I blogged about my OneWord for 2016 back at the end of December.  Here it is:

CALLED…

That’s my OneWord.  And for me it’s a reminder of the specific journey God has planned for me to embark on.  I said ‘YES’ to him years ago, but recently I have found myself having to recommit.  Having to make a cognitive choice to speak the word ‘YES’ yet again to him.  Why?

I have been in vocational ministry and leadership for the past 15 years.  Though I am 100% confident I am still in his will, I have recently transitioned to working as a Barista and rebranding myself as a life coach and social media manager.  Folks, that a big change!  And if I’m going to be gut-level authentic with you, December and January were dark months containing very little joy and hope.  Thankfully, I realized that I had lost sight of my calling and taken my attention off of my OneWord.

“Self-awareness is a gift of wisdom”

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Here are 3 tips for keeping YOUR OneWord ‘stupid simple’ in 2016:

  1. Stay active in the OneWord365 Facebook community | I’ve dropped the ball here too.  Set daily or weekly reminders on your mobile device if you have to.  But visit the group regularly.  Leave comments.  Read about the journeys of others.  The successes and rough spots of others can offer powerful encouragement and even new ideas.
  2. Keep your OneWord in front of you | Create a word picture or graphic of your OneWord.  Make it a screen saver on your laptop, phone, and tablet.  Write it on your vanity mirror with a dry erase marker or wet chalk pen.
  3. Record your journey | Writing down our thoughts and emotions can be so empowering.  Personally, writing on my blog is my canvas.  Buy a physical journal or diary, use Evernote.  Here’s an idea for you creatives who don’t like writing.  Start a podcast!  Or how about broadcasting on Periscope?

Whatever you do, set yourself up for success and keep it simple.  Start small.

How about you?  Have you overcomplicated your OneWord?  Leave a comment below.  In what ways can you take steps to overSIMPLIFY it this week.  Seriously, let’s do this together.

My One Word For 2016 Is…

…CALLED…

As I was praying and thinking about this next year, words like accomplish, persist, achieve, optimism, and consistency made their way to my notepad.  Then, ‘Purpose’ popped up.  Next, a very familiar piece of scripture came through my quiet time.  Maybe you’re familiar with it as well?

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are CALLED according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28

Called OneWord365

That word, CALLED, seemed to jump right out and hit me between the eyes.  And that’s exactly what our One Word should do.

Let me flesh this out a bit (more for me than anyone else).

Romans 8 reminds me that I am CALLED according to His purpose.  I am CALLED by God, and His purposes are my calling.  As I meditated through this today the Lord lovingly reminded me that my present situation is indeed still within His calling for me.

I am CALLED… to constantly abide in him.

I am CALLED…to reflect the love and character of God at all times.

I am CALLED…to be the spiritual leader of my wife and kids.

I am CALLED…to teach, equip, and encourage church leadership (whatever that might look like).

I am CALLED…to obedience.

Now it’s your turn.  What’s your One Word for the coming year?  How do you plan to focus your efforts for maximum growth?

Visit my previous post for help/tips on isolating your One Word.  I’d love for you to subscribe to my blog.  We can stay connected through the year regarding our commitment to our One Word, and I’ll send you my first eBook on accomplishing your goals!

Comments are always welcome.  God bless and have an incredible 2016.

4 Ways to Ensure Your GOALS Don’t Become Your GOD

I don’t want to WORSHIP my fitness practices (goals).

But I also don’t want to go back to worshipping food either.  aka: donuts, candy, cake, soda, ice-cream… (I think you get the picture)

We all know these people.  Their health initiatives/practices are their identity.  It’s who they are known as.  I don’t want to become one of those people.  I’m a pastor and a strong follower of Jesus…THAT needs to be my identity.

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This was me about six weeks ago…only not a woman.  Sweets were a distraction.  They were easy, cheap, and tasted great.  Today, I can honestly say that I rarely battle the indulgent temptations that used to cause me to gravitate toward unhealthy things.  I’m enjoying exercising.  I’m doing great at hitting my daily health goals.  And that’s awesome!

But I’ve noticed something.

My quiet time with Jesus in the mornings has been affected.  Nothing serious.  But it could easily become a problem if I allow it.

What I’m really getting at is this.  How do we continue to work diligently at our personal goals AND NOT have our Spiritual growth suffer along the way?  Here are 4 things I believe you and I can (should) do regularly to T.E.S.T. where our priorities are.

Think | Right now, think about it and really ask, “Is _______ taking priority over my Spiritual growth and life?”  It starts by honestly asking ourselves this.

Evaluate | If something is out of order, why?  How did this happen?  Really take time to pray about this, because knowing the answer to this will become key in getting things back in alignment.

Scheme | Take what we know from that evaluation time and scheme a plan.  Somehow, we need to move forward with our goals differently so that we can avoid the mistakes that landed us here. Change things up a little.  Same goals, altered approach.

Tweak | (careful, not Twerk)  Similar to scheme, but this is taking that step.  This is making the new plan a reality.  Also, share your new plan with someone.  Ask them for accountability.  Trust me, this really helps.

For me, this simply means I don’t go into social media areas at all in the mornings until AFTER I’ve had my quiet time.  After I’ve at least read a devotional thought and prayed for my day.

Call To Action!  Has this been you?  What would you add to this list?  May you achieve your personal goals, and may Jesus walk intimately with you every step of the way.

I love hearing from readers.  Feel free to leave a comment below.  And be sure to hit the ‘SUBSCRIBE NOW’ button above to receive my FREE eBook!

photo credit: www.vegansgoraw.com

Success is a Journey…NOT a Destination

You know why this title is true?  Because if success was a destination, success (or progress) would cease once we hit our target.  And we don’t want that.

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I wrote a blog post 4 weeks ago on the beginning of a new approach to my eating habits.

At 6′ 4″ tall and 44 years old, I had hit the most I had ever weighed that morning.  260!

Now, it’s pretty easy to disguise 260 when you are 6′ 4″…BUT I knew something had to change.

Something ‘SNAPPED’ in me that morning.  I believe it was Jesus kicking me in the rear.  I’ll admit, I haven’t kept to my goals perfectly through those 4 weeks, but I have made great progress.

I weighed myself this morning after 4 weeks, and I’m at 251.  I dropped 9 lbs!  My long-term goal is about 200 lbs, but I’m focusing all my energy on daily goals rather than looking too far ahead.  This allows me to measure results and bounce back from slip-ups quicker.

So why am I putting myself out there like this?  Just two reasons.

1. Accountability | By putting this in a public blog and on various social media platforms, I’m really making myself vulnerable.  I want this to be a permanent change.  So, this has resulted in a number of people asking me how I’m doing.  Am I meeting my goals?  Where am I slipping up?  Others have also been very encouraging as well.

2. Processing | Some people journal.  I write.  And my preferred medium is blogging.  It helps me mentally process things I’m growing through in my own life.  And if it happens to help or encourage someone else along the way…..awesome!

I’m thankful to God for giving me the strength to succeed each day.  And I’m thankful to my amazing wife.  It’s not easy feeding a family of 5 on a tight budget when one of them is limited to a lot of specialty foods.  She has been so understanding and gracious with me.

How about you?  What are you working on, or what are you grateful for?  I’d love for you to leave a comment below.

Photo credit: affirmyourlife.blogspot.com 

 

3 Things I Did To Get Back To My Goals

So, three weeks ago I began a serious refocus on my personal health.  Specifically, regarding my obsession with food.  Then, I spent a week in Nashville for my son’s graduation followed by 4 additional days serving at a Summer Camp for elementary kids.  Let’s just say that those two environments don’t make it super easy to eat healthy and plan your meals ahead of time.

I ate the best I could for the most part.  I also indulged a little, but feel like I did pretty good.  I was able to refrain from most carbs and sugar, and DID honor my rule of not eating after 7pm.

During those 2 weeks, however, I completely stopped my daily push-up challenge.

In the past, I would have felt like I have failed for two solid weeks and thought, “What’s the sense in picking this back up? Why even try?”  And I would have returned to the former eating habits immediately.

Not this time!

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Here’s what I did when I returned home….

Forgave myself | This is a huge first step.  I need to be able to give myself grace in the low moments in order to excel into new higher moments.  Otherwise, I’ll continue beating myself up over the past failures and crippling future potential successes.

Reviewed my original plan | I looked back to 3 weeks ago.  I looked at how I was able to lose 7.5 lbs in my first week.  That motivation gave me the ‘can do’ attitude to pick up right where I left off.  No worries…no regrets…and only looking forward.

Determined to start again | Like Nike says, ‘Just Do It.’  Start somewhere, ANYWHERE.  And I did.  I began today with a goal of getting 30 push-ups done.  You know what?  I did 60!  I was also public (once again) online and with my family about my goals.  Putting my goals out there creates powerful accountability for me.

Now, I’m writing this just two days after restarting.  I’m hoping and praying that a week from now I’ll be able to tell you I’ve been able to #WinToday successfully each day with my goals.  And honestly, I’d invite you to ask me exactly that.

How do you bounce back from a day or more of slipping away from your goals?  Or maybe a better question is what do you need to do that you are not doing to get back on course?

Join the discussion.  Leave a comment below.