Dugan Sherbondy | pastor and creative communicator.
Part comedian, part teacher, and part pastor, Dugan is a traveling speaker who loves to serve any event geared towards middle school, high school, or college students. If you're interested in finding someone to speak at your next retreat, camp, conference, ministry night or leader training, you're at the right place! Check out Dugan's newest book "Never Alone" and shoot him an email 72,69,82,69,46.EREH
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The Game Show Network should more realistically be called "The Family Feud Network." #alldayalldayabout 5 hours ago
Whatever the spiritual gift of going to a restaurant with a 3 year old and having a calm pleasant meal is...we have the opposite of that.about 6 hours ago
Feeling thankful today that I'm still alive after not forwarding on any chain emails from the 90's.about 13 hours ago
Never Alone has arrived! The book comes in two color options (Black or Red) and the first 100 orders receive a free “Never Alone” sticker!
Visit the official book site at NeverAloneTheBook.com to watch the book trailer, hear more about the story behind it, and order a copy! Also head to the Never Alone Shop to buy the book and check out some more Never Alone merchandise!
Last night as my daughter crawled into bed with Lindsay and I (a nightly 3am occurrence), she surprised me by answering “yes” when I asked if she wanted to cuddle with me.
These moments are almost always reserved for Linds, except when she’s really tired, I bribe her with candy, or I’m the only one around.
But last night she sleepily nodded her head and reached for me as we settled into the mixture of blankets and pillows.
She laid her head on my arm as we both closed our eyes.
But I didn’t fall asleep.
I stayed awake, lying in the dark listening to my little girl breathe.
Her mouth was only inches from my ear and I could hear every part of each inhale and exhale as the oxygen went in and out of her tiny body.
I felt the warmth of her face on my shoulder, the weight of her hand on my chest, and the twitches in her feet as she drifted into her dreams.
It was by far one of the most intimate moments we’ve had.
As I stared into the darkness with my precious daughter in my arms, I kept wondering: Is this the kind of relationship God wants with me?
When it comes to how God sees His relationship with us, the Bible is full of parables, examples, and direct comparison to things like marriage and us being God’s kids, debateable the two most close, personal, intimate human relationships we can experience. It talks about how God wants to “know” us and “be known” by Him, using ancient words whose meanings for “know” are deeply intimate and personal.
Then I think of the moment I’m having with my daughter as I hold her close and feel her breathing.
Or I think of a passionate kiss with my wife after a time apart or a tender hug we share after resolving a fight.
I think of the physical heart-ache I feel when on the phone with one of my of closest friends as he’s crying on the other end, telling me about his dad in the hospital.
I think of all these intensely intimate moments between me and the people on this planet I’m closest to.
Is that what my relationship with God is supposed to be like?
I long to have a close relationship with God, but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure I know what it looks like to be intimate with Him.
I get that God is within certain elements of the intimacy we have with people, but what about just Him and me?
I don’t have an answer.
I’m not even 100% of what question to ask.
I just know two things:
1). I want to know God and grow closer to Him every single moment of every single day.
2). I will always treasure the few moments of falling asleep next to Eva I got to experience last night.
It seems like lately there’s been a tension, especially in Christian environments, around the way social media represents our lives versus the reality of our lives.
Each Instagram picture, Tweet, and FaceBook update can easily be framed or phrased in a way that has “reality tunnel vision” by taking a singular moment and broadcasting it to the internet, interpreted as representing an entire reality.
I’ve experienced this. A day filled with toddler tantrums, marital fights, a messy house, and unproductive work time ends up looking like a joyous family day as I post the one picture of us all smiling that we took in the morning or the day before.
A day full of stress, frustration, anxiety, and apathy doesn’t look that way when I post an inspirational quote or song lyric.
A day battling depression doesn’t look that way to anybody else when I post a funny license-plate picture, the one positive moment of my day.
Also, Leah Ball and Andrew Young started a challenge for people, especially students, called the Real 30 Day Challenge. It challenges Instagrammers to take a 30 day journey of only posting pictures that accurately represent their real life with no photo manipulation or moment embellishment. Again, brilliant and convicting.
Both of these are incredibly inspiring and they have challenged me in my own social media boundaries. They have caused me to spend less time trying to make a picture of tweet perfect and just post it “as is.” They have challenged me to stop and think about posting something that would be a direct misrepresentation of a moment. And they have encouraged me to look at my overall persona on social media and ask the question: “Does this accurately represent Dugan? Or am I using it to make myself look better?”
However, I also want to say that I have found social media to be a powerful tool in my life when it comes to finding positivity.
There have been times when I’ve hesitated to post a happy picture or funny tweet because it doesn’t contain the full truth of my day or a moment. But the alternative means posting something negative or pessamistic, which is just as bad or worse. I realize you could argue that in those moments you shouldn’t post anything, but wouldn’t that just further enforce falsely representing yourself?
Instead, something I’ve realized is this: Sometimes posting something on social media helps me see the positive in negative moments of my life.
While I could post something about my frustration with my daughter being a whiny toddler that day, or something my wife said that upset me or that I chose to procrastinate on some work that day, sometimes it’s better for my heart to post a picture of Eva smiling, something hilarious that Linds said, or an article on leadership I found informative.
There are times when this might draw close to falsely representing myself or my life, but there are also times when it simply helps me find the one nugget of joy or beauty or positivity in a day when it would be easy for me to miss it.
There is clearly a line between “seeing the positives in life” and “falsely representing yourself”, which each person has to discern for themselves along with the Holy Spirit, but don’t confuse the two. There are times when you need to not post something because it’s a direct misrepresentation (fancy word for lie) but there also might be times when positing something is a tangible way to choose joy within your circumstances.
So when your kid spends most of the day throwing epic tantrums, post a picture of them smiling to remind you how much joy they bring to your life. When your spouse upsets you the night before, post something bragging about them to help you release any residual bitterness and remind you of your love for them. When you have a day feeling stressed, depressed, or frustrated, post a picture of your home, office, refrigerator, or car to remind yourself of all the blessings in your life.
And of course, in-between all these, make sure to post pictures of what you look like right after waking up, a full-body shot of the clothes you normally wear around the house, an unimpressive meal you ate, and a non-staged photo with your significant other (see below).