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    Part comedian, part teacher, and part pastor, Dugan is a traveling speaker who loves to speak at a variety of events. If you're interested in finding someone to speak at your next retreat, conference, ministry night or leader training, you're at the right place! Dugan has experience speaking to students, adults, men, kids, and more! Whether you're looking for something powerful and moving, or light and comedic, Dugan offers both (as well as everything in between)! Check out Dugan's newest book "Never Alone" and shoot him an email 72,69,82,69,46.EREH

Trip to Israel!

Hello friends!

Things have been busy and wonderful and busy here in Wisconsin since we moved here almost exactly a year ago. We felt like we were home from the moment we unpacked and everything has felt too good to be true. Our neighborhood is like a moder-day pleasantville where Eva plays on trampolines and swings with a multitude of new friends and she seems to make more every day. Phoenix is above the 90th percentile on all his measurements and other than when he’s hungry (which is often), he is the giggliest, smiliest, most jovial baby in the world. Lindsay has a shop in downtown Sun Prairie that is a lot of work but is so beautiful and that everyone in town loves. I’ve loved joining the team at Heartland and being a part of teaching at the student ministry as well as the weekend services on a regular basis.

The purpose for this blog post is to let you know that in one week, I will be leaving for a two-week trip to The Holy Lands! I could not be more excited to visit the places that I’ve been reading about in Scripture for most of my life. The trip is a birthday gift to my mom for her 60th (she’s now 63) because she is deeply passionate about the roots of the Christian faith and Jewish culture. A number of her friends donated money to put towards her trip, knowing how much the experience would mean to her.

We’re traveling with GTI Tours on the “Israel-in-Depth” trip, which will be guided by Pastor Rod Van Solkema and his wife. We leave June 20th and will return July 2nd.

The main reason was because I wanted to let you all know that I will be documenting our trip on this blog and would love for you to stay tuned for my updates each day. In a really good way, I have very few expectations for the trip but am incredibly excited. Because I don’t know what to expect, I’m not sure what each day will be like as far as my energy level (or the internet connection) goes, but my goal will be to post at least something interesting each night about what we learned and experienced that day.

Israel is 8 hours ahead of Central Time so hopefully each morning you’ll wake up to a new blog post! If you’re interested in hearing my musings (more like ramblings) about my time in the Holy Lands, check back to DuganSherbondy.com to stay updated!

I’ll also be regularly posting to my Instagram, Twitter, and FaceBook (links below) throughout the trip so you’ll find more updates there as well!

Finally, use THIS LINK you’ll be able to find out more information and keep updated with our trip, which updates and entries from those on the trip, which I’ll also be contributing to.

Otherwise be praying for safe travel and that I don’t get too sunburned!

D

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The Fiction of Cultural “Beauty”

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” – Teddy Roosevelt

In a world of teenage millionaires, celebrity athletes, and Instagram supermodels, not comparing ourselves to other people in basically impossible. How thin we are, how strong we are, how talented we are, how “beautiful” we are, how in-shape we are, and how popular we are all become immediately evident based on everyone else around us. Everyone from the rich and famous to our neighbor next door’s private lives are publicly broadcast for the world to see and measure themselves against.

But the truth is that the measuring bar of comparison that has been set by culture is (quite literally) unrealistically too high.

Ladies, the women you are comparing yourselves to are not real. Through makeup, lighting, professional stylists, plastic surgery, and (maybe most significantly) digital manipulation, the natural beauty of a woman is taken and made to be something completely unnatural and unattainable.

For proof, look no further than Dove’s “Evolution” commercial, which you might have seen before:

And for all the dudes out there, it’s no different for men.

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In an article I found this past week (link below), I read about all the incredibly unhealthy and extreme things fitness models do to their bodies before a photo shoot so their body will look off-the-charts “fit” and “strong.” While their body might look great, the problem is that the models themselves are far from healthy. Most of the time, the person you see in fitness photo shoots are on the verge of passing out due to malnutrition!

Truth Behind Fitness Photo Shoots: The Crazy Unhealthy Things Fitness Models Do Before A Photo Shoot.

From starving the body of energy, massive dehydration, and taking supplements that ravage their digestive system, fitness models ironically push themselves to the limit of unhealthiness in order to try and look like they’re at the peak of health.

According to the article:“It makes a mockery of [the health and fitness industry] that to get into that condition you have to be incredibly unhealthy…” It even says models have ended up in the hospital because of the way they’re required to prepare for a shoot.

 

All that to say, stop comparing yourself to the bar that culture says is the goal! It’s completely unhealthy and more importantly, completely unattainable!

Yes take care of your body, yes exercise, yes eat healthy, yes practice discipline and self control and even practice seasons of dieting and fasting. But don’t try and achieve some level of “fitness” or “beauty” that the media is 100% manipulating to look realistic when it’s not!

Nobody would try and compare themselves to the muscular level of The Incredible Hulk or the physical proportions of a Barbie doll. They’re fictional! And yet the media around us is dangling the carrot of attractiveness that will never, ever be achievable.

 

In the most encouraging way I can say, you will never be:

  • As strong as Dwayne Johnson or Jillian Michaels
  • As funny as Steve Carell or Kristen Wiig
  • As athletic as LeBron James or Ronda Rousey
  • As rich as Mark Zuckerberg
  • As culturally “beautiful” as professional models

And that’s ok! You’re not supposed to be! You’re supposed to be you! God created you with incredible beauty and gifts and a personality and a purpose for you and you alone! Don’t waste energy trying to be like someone else! Just be the best version of you that you can!

Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. – Galatians 6:4-5

Instead of trying to attain some impossible goal, just be:

  • You
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Life Update!

Oh hey, internet!

It’s been a while!

Anyway, for the both of you reading this right now (hi, mom!) here’s an update on my life:

 

We’re all settled in to our new house in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and it felt like home immediately. We are beyond blessed with how beautiful our house is and we couldn’t ask for a better location. It’s in a wonderful neighborhood with great people and families all around us. We’re in the middle of beautiful mid-west farmland (5 minutes from a few legit dairy farms!) while only a 5-10 minute drive to the grocery store, Target, and a movie theater, and a 20 minutes trip to downtown Madison.

We’ve also loved attending Heartland Church in sun Prairie and are beyond excited that our good friends lead the church, while also living a 90-second walk away.

Lindsay is working on her upcoming fall and Christmas line for LindsayLetters.com and it is beyond beautiful so keep an eye out for what’s coming! Our son, Phoenix, is due to be born in mid-November so Eva is gearing up to be a big sister. She starts dance and preschool this fall and is currently working on growing her hair out to be “like Rapunzel’s.”

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The view over our new backyard (which now has grass)!

 

I’m excited to continue getting involved at Heartland through teaching, creative programming, and helping in their student ministries. I’m working on connecting with some churches in the area for more teaching opportunities, and especially talking about my story that I write about in “Never Alone.” I’m also starting some preliminary writing for my next book, which will be all about dating/relationships/sexuality in the world of a student, so stay tuned for more on that!

 

If you or anyone you know might be interested in having me come teach at a student ministry or event and share my story about following God despite not being able to feel Him, don’t hesitate to connect with me and pass on my direct e-mail at DuganESherbondy@gmail.com.

 

Have an awesome rest of your summer!

 

D

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