Are You Failing Today?

Living a life with Jesus doesn’t mean a life void of difficulty. Man, this is so true! In fact, at times it can feel as if it actually invites catastrophe. Of course, we know this is not the case. At the point that we step over into Christianity our eyes became opened. God’s light (truthilluminates our world around us. We are now simply aware of the spiritual battles going on all around us that we were blind to before this new life.

So, how are we to journey through the multiple valleys, difficulties, and dark seasons of life as a person of faith? 

failure

Paul, the author of a significant portion of the New Testament, shared with us very authentically his own struggle in the faith.

But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?  Romans 7:17-24 (MSG) 

Can you relate? I know I can. You’re not alone! Every one of us struggle. And still, God used Paul as a major catalyst in the early Church. Paul’s last questions here are a bit poetic. He’s not completely hopeless as it appears. Let’s continue reading.

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. Romans 7:25 (MSG)

The power of Jesus resides within us. When we stay closely connected to him he gives us the strength, direction, fortitude, and endurance to do the good we desire to do, and turn from the distractions of the enemy.

I’d love to hear what you think and how I can pray for you. Leave a comment below.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Advertisements

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]

dsic

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!

 

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.

You can also connect with me on Twitter and Instagram!

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.