Contentment Is Learned

I don’t make enough money. I didn’t get enough sleep last night. Workplace negativity annoys me. Extreme social behaviors fueled by the pandemic often cause me to have ill feelings towards others.

Can you relate, or am I alone on this?

While all of these statements are true for me in my head, I also recognize that the magnitude of their truth only grows when I give it permission.

I don’t make enough money. Actually, I do. ‘Enough’ is relative. I have enough because God always provides for my needs. I may not have excess, but excess is not essential.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night. True…but I could have went to bed earlier. I wasn’t proactive.

Workplace negativity annoys me. Ok, so why don’t I choose to allow it to energize me to be an element for change toward more positivity?

Extreme social behaviors fueled by the pandemic often cause me to have ill feelings towards others. It is what it is. I’m not going to singlehandedly change societal behaviors, most of which are personal pet peeves anyway. I even talked with my therapist about this. (Yes I’m in therapy. Healthy people seek help while unhealthy people remain unhealthy in their solitude) She challenged me, “Why are you allowing others (strangers) to occupy so much of your limited emotional capacity?” Yeah, good question.

You see, all of these examples of mine are choices. Choices for action or mindset. Choosing to take the better path is usually more difficult and requires conscious effort. But we CAN do it!

“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians‬ ‭4:11-13‬

The apostle Paul wrote this in one of his letters while imprisoned. He had learned to be content because of his past experiences, both of pain and joy. He shares that in every circumstance he has learned the ability to ‘do all things’ in order to live in contentment because of the strength made available to him through Jesus.

Now, you and I don’t always have the ability to change the circumstances around us. But we do have choices regarding how we model walking through them.

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3 Keys To Thriving In These Current Times

Happy Friday!

Just a quick thought. I firmly believe that faith, hope, and love are the single most important keys to thriving in life and for sustaining society.

As a Christian, FAITH is believing in a Heavenly Father who breathed everything into creation…who sent Jesus in human form to pay for the sins of his people…and who demonstrates pure love. Faith is knowing God is there, here with us 100% even though we cannot physically see Him.

Faith leads to HOPE. Through Jesus, we have the hope of eternity in Heaven one day. The hope for a better tomorrow here on Earth while we await His return. Honestly, with all the trials the world has been suffering just in the past 14 months, I cannot fathom how anyone has been on this journey without an unshakable HOPE. My hope in Jesus gets me out of bed each day, allows me to enjoy my family, and have a positive outlook despite all that I see going on in our world.

And finally, LOVE! There’s so much good here.

The love…

…God has for all of His creation.

…God has specifically and individually for YOU and I.

…Jesus modeled for us to have toward each other while he was here as a human.

…God longs for us to have toward Him in return, AS WELL AS loving OURSELVES well (Mt. 22:39).

“…the greatest of these is love.”

Why is love the greatest? Because it’s eternal. It will outlast all other gifts, blessings, and things of this physical Earth. Love is our shared connection to each other, to Jesus, and to Heaven in the here and now.

I’m going about my day today trying to constantly reflect on my personal faith, hope, and love. I hope this post blesses you somehow today.

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Pandemic Language, No More!

Today, I’m beginning a personal challenge. A challenge to focus my positive thoughts and hopefully reduce much of the negative thoughts. I believe you would agree with me that words are powerful. The words we speak, think, and read ultimately effect us and others.

Recently, I have noticed that I have been talking about COVID-19 pretty much every day. Understandably, this reality has taken ownership of our daily lives. BUT….I’ve also become very aware that I’m not talking nearly as much about the things in my life that mean the most to me. My relationship with Jesus, my family, hobbies, dreams, etc. With that, here is my personal challenge. Maybe you’d like to attempt it with me. The concept is simple, but pulling it off will be a daily struggle and will require a ton of intentionality. I will be making every effort to completely ELIMINATE these words from my vocabulary. I’m not going to post them, speak them, or read them in the news (Lord willing).

COVID

Pandemic

Quarantine

Social Distancing

Vaccine

I can hear the laughter already. Here’s where I’m coming from, though. The pandemic has become a daily reality for all of us. It’s everywhere. So, I don’t feel the need to continue talking about it as if it’s a new headline in the news or that it’s going to end anytime soon. I’m moving on in a positive direction today and into 2021. I’m not saying I’m going to act like COVID doesn’t exist, but I don’t need to continue feeding it verbally either. Friends, family, co-workers, feel free to hold me accountable. Better yet, JOIN ME!

The hashtag I’m using is #2020NoMoreChallenge

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

Strive For Joy!

At the time of this post the Presidential election is still not called. Regardless of who you voted for, I think it’s safe to assume that most of us are very ANXIOUS to know who will be leading our country for the next 4 years.

But I was reminded this morning of a directive & encouraging promise that God offers us.

“Do not be anxious about ANYTHING, but in EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, WILL GUARD YOUR HEARTS AND MINDS in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6-7

We must pray with urgency and gratitude to God our Father. Then, his unexplainable PEACE will get us through this season, and the next, and the next….

Remember, God already knows who wins this election. May God bless our President, and may God bless America.

Stay safe, be healthy, be kind.

Who I Voted For

I voted yesterday. I live in Washington State, so there are no polling locations. You either mail it in or deposit your ballot in a ballot box. I personally chose the ballot box, mainly because I want to have control of my vote being received. I must admit, however, that the part of me that enjoys affirmation and positive reinforcement does miss being given the badge of honor ‘I Voted’ sticker as a reward for fulfilling my civic duty. Petty, I know…but honest. Is anyone with me on this?

Before you read on, know that this is not going to be a political post. Ok, yes. It seems like everything nowadays is/can be political. I agree. But my heart for sharing my thoughts today is much larger than that.

Between the voters’ guide, multiple state and federal websites and news articles it took me about 90 minutes to fill out my ballot.

(side rant) Does it bother anyone else when there are elected offices on the ballot with a single name? Why should they get my vote simply because they don’t have anyone running against them? I could leave it blank, but….oh, I digress.

Look, squirrel!

Back to who I voted for!

Let me start by listing a few issues/stances that are particularly important to me.

  • Affordable, quality healthcare should be accessible to every American.
  • Accurate COVID-19 information must be given to the public in an efficient, timely, and honest manner. In a pandemic, some public health mandates are necessary, but every community is unique and should be given the authority to decide the best course for their community.
  • A human life begins at conception. And all lives are precious. This must be protected.
  • Yes, black lives matter. Creating a better, more just future for all people of color in America will not happen by re-writing history and removing statues. History is exactly that…history. But we must make big changes and improvements in our legal system. Equal treatment and equal justice for everyone in our country should be our target. The black community cannot and should not do this alone. White Americans must step up to initiate change with them. What we need is tougher laws against hate crimes and hate speech. Additionally, law enforcement training needs some intentional reform.
  • The use of diplomacy and military action can both be effective with managing international relations and issues of conflict. It takes humility and wisdom to know when to use either one. The USA puts itself in a bad spot when our Commander and Chief leans heavily one way or the other.
  • The 2nd Amendment for Americans to posses firearms must be defended. There is, however, much need for better screening and stricter laws for gun owners who don’t have licenses and permits.

Now, combine all of that with the fact that I’m a middle-aged white male, Evangelical Christian, who generally leans toward conservativism. Depending how you view the above issues and what has shaped your own worldview, some of you would assume I voted for Trump. Still, there are others who would think I clearly voted for Biden. Oddly interesting, right?

Regardless of who I voted for and who you vote for, we do need to pray for our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2) and abide by the laws that are enacted during their administration (Rom. 13:1). We don’t have to be happy with whoever is elected President of the United States when we wake up on 11/4, but we must move on. We must continue to move forward. We have a choice to make. We can spend the next 4 years complaining, bashing, protesting whichever administration ends up in the White House….OR we can rise above the circumstances and our own pride to actually work toward bipartisan change.

By now you’re probably realizing that I’m not going to actually name the candidate I voted for. Why? Not because I’m a private person or that I’m worried about people making judgements about me. Simply because there would be no purpose in doing that. When we know who everyone votes for we make judgements on them as a person, assume their political affiliation, and conclude whether or not we are on the same side. All of this is superficial and meaningless.

I honest don’t care how you vote. But I will give much more attention to how our society chooses to move forward and posture ourselves following 11/3.

All comments are welcome. Please vote!

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

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.

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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.

 

soundcloud CLICK
spotify CLICK

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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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.

Curtis Grimes 1

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.

Curtis Grimes 3

[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.

Curtis Grimes 5

[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.

Curtis Grimes 4

[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.

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Interview with Holly Tucker

Next up for the ‘Faith and Entertainment’ series is Nashville recording artist and song writer, Holly Tucker!

Holly Tucker 1

Holly began her career in music at the age of 8, and received a rare four-chair turn in 2013 on Season 4 of The Voice. She advanced all the way to the top 6 vocalists that season and was invited back for the finale.

I thoroughly enjoyed visiting with Holly. I could tell that she has a true heart for Jesus and his calling on her life, solely based on her honesty and openness about her own struggles and doubts with God in difficult seasons. All of us wrestle with God’s timing, quietness, and call from time to time. But not everyone is willing to be gut-level honest about what that has looked like for them.

I’ve linked her music on Youtube and Spotify below. Be sure to give her a listen. But for now, enjoy our encouraging discussion around her authentic faith journey. 

[Brent]: You recently retweeted a quote by Bob Goff. “Fear and insecurity will always try to talk us into settling for lesser things.“ Can you speak into that a bit? Does anything come to mind?

[Holly]: Man, it has been a very tough one and a half years for me. Lots of set backs and losses, especially in my music career. To be completely honest, I’ve been really angry with God, that he’s given me a gift to use for his glory…it’s a calling but I don’t feel like I’m being used effectively right now. I’ve said yes to opportunities I shouldn’t have said yes to. Every opportunity isn’t a good opportunity. Lately when I pray to God it sometimes feels like I’m talking to air. I’m really working hard to hold on to my faith, but I’m in a deep valley right now. I’ve just been settling. This tweet was mainly a reminder for me.

Holly Tucker 4

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

[Holly]:  At 13 years old I saw Darryl Worley perform at the Grand Ole Opry for 1st time. I was with my parents and we learned about a secrete alleyway artists would use to exit the Opry and slip off to one of the nearby bars. He was a big influence to me, so we went to the back after the show and I got to meet him! I shared with him my dream of pursuing a music career. I’ll never forget what he said to me. “Well, that’s a great dream, Holly. Keep singing. But don’t let this business change you.”  This industry is all about changing you to what it thinks you should be, so it’s a constant battle to remain unique and true to your message.

 

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

[Holly]:  It’s been longer than I’d like to admit. I usually like to sit down with a pencil and highlighter. And I always come with questions, and I write them next to the scripture I’m reading. This is one way I engage in conversation with God, and I find that I am encouraged later on down the road when he provides me with solutions or knowledge pertaining to questions I’d jotted down weeks or even months ago.

Holly Tucker 2

[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?

[Holly]:  I haven’t quite figured this out yet. Praying and reading the Word would be the most logical answer, I guess. I don’t know! Maybe this is why I’ve been in this ‘valley’ season for so long. Even though I avoid talking to God, and he still finds ways to talk to me. I still make myself go to Church every Sunday. I’m still figuring it out. But I know this won’t last. It will eventually pass. I’m not asking to be a Taylor swift, I simply want to survive in this industry.

 

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

[Holly]:  It seems like he’s always teaching me patience. I’m constantly over-thinking and worrying about every possible outcome. God’s always working on that with me. I need to stop being in control all the time. As for new, I don’t think I’ve ever had my faith tested this hard.

Holly Tucker 3

[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?

[Holly]:  I’ve never been asked that before. Haven’t written this song yet.

 

[Brent]:   If you could travel back in time and witness any moment of Jesus’ life while he was in the flesh on Earth, what would it be…and why?

[Holly]:  Instantly in my mind, it would have to be his talk with the woman at the well. To witness that conversation. To experience his example of mercy here. Those stories make my heart happy. Also, woman who touched his robe in the chaotic crowd. It goes back to his mercy and her faith being so strong.

 

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

[Holly]:  Honest, I don’t get a lot of requests for faith-based country.  It’s refreshing to talk about my faith like this, especially right now in this season.

Enjoy one of my personal favorite Holly Tucker songs, ‘The Finer Things.”

Connect with Holly, subscribe, follow, etc. HERE > > >

Spotify, Instagram, Twitter, website, youtube.

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