Tag Archives: Dave Sunde

How to Have Joy in 30 Days Experiment

Originally published December 2013

dec11_2016

Point to Ponder:
Do you struggle with experiencing regular joy?

Dave Sunde

by Dave Sunde

I used to imagine that I was my own person; that, somehow, I didn’t care what people thought of me.

Then I graduated from junior high.

And then my idealism was trumped by reality. The reality is that the most influential component of our lives – for better and worse – is the people around us. I’d like to think my skin is thick enough to absorb let down, disappointment and rudeness. But, if I’m honest, they often have a way of shaping my attitude. I’d also like to think I’m responsive enough to be improved by another’s optimism, joy or encouragement. Sometimes, I’m able to rise above and not give in to ugly. Other times, I let myself be lifted by the infectious joy or optimism that feels temporarily foreign to me.

I want to introduce you to an experiment just in time for Christmas. It’s an experiment with ‘How to Have Joy in 30 Days’. The goal is to be intentional about recording the most uplifting, encouraging, satisfying, or life-giving encounters of each day through the Holidays. Let’s just be honest, the Holidays can bring out the best & worst. With the added cost, travel, hospitality, and seasonal extra-curriculars, we can be so easily robbed of Joy, a spirit of giving, and the celebration of what it sacred during this time of year. They don’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny moments. It could be something as simple as delayed gratification like putting off a purchase to avoid debt, having a hard conversation that deepens a relationship, anonymous gifts or favors, acts of kindness, or volunteering. They might include savored moments with children or a cherished moment with a spouse.

What I find is that my mind doesn’t naturally readily store joyful encounters for very long, so a little note-taking goes a long way. Keep a record on your phone, in a journal, or by your nightstand. Each day, take a few seconds to keep a ‘joy journal.’ As you do, watch how your awareness of joy can grow.

You can even make this a part of your dinner conversations each night with your family (I’ve even started asking my kids), asking “what was the best part of your day today?”

Gratitude can feel like a discipline, but it also keeps joy within reach. Tis’ the Season.


Action Item:
Be intentional about recording the most uplifting, encouraging, satisfying, or life-giving encounters of each day through the Holidays.


Dave Sunde is the Pastor of Mission Hills Church in Austin. A native Californian, Dave has been involved in professional non-profit and spiritual leadership for over 20 years. Dave’s passion for loving people and eloquent ability to share his love for others and life is refreshing, uplifting and inspiring. Dave has spoken at previous iGnite Retreats.


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The Power of Accepting & Sharing Who We REALLY Are

Point to Ponder:
Do you ever find yourself not responding to questions or situations authentically
in order to avoid others having a negative opinion of you?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Do you ever find yourself wanting to laugh out loud, ask a question, make a comment or take an action, but instead you don’t follow through to avoid drawing attention to yourself, risking that someone might think you’re strange, or fear they will think negatively of you? I do, and that’s one of the areas I think we all can make self improvement strides in to see rich results.

Last February during our Winter Renewal Retreat, one of our guest speakers Dave Sunde said, Vulnerability never risked is intimacy never gained.” Let me repeat that: Vulnerability never risked is intimacy never gained.  For me, that was an epic A-HA! moment. Ever since Brené Brown brought the concept of vulnerability to light for me I have strived to be more vulnerable, but the idea of intimacy being the result of vulnerability- wow! That’s a game-changer and makes perfect sense… but it’s scary!

Intimacy doesn’t just refer to marriage or a physical relationship, it’s the result of anyone fully opening themselves up and letting others take a look into their desires, imperfections and messy life.  It’s loving ourselves enough to confidently express ourselves without the fear of rejection or need for approval. It’s being brave and courageous enough say YES to our passions and the things and people we love, because when you say yes to what feeds your heart, you’re giving others permission to join you. Being and living out exactly who we are is the highest form of intimacy, and that is where real life begins.

One of my favorite examples of vulnerability resulting in intimacy (and personal fulfillment and success) is Jake Worthington. Jake is a true country boy from La Port, Texas and the only thing fancy about him is his authenticity, which is brilliant. In 2013, after not making it past the blind auditions on The Voice, rather than slink away humiliated in front of millions of viewers and assume he wasn’t good enough, he respectfully asked the panel of judges how he could improve. The courageous result was his return in 2014 and finishing second place overall. I don’t know about you, but that kind of boldness inspires me to the ends of the earth and proves there’s only one way to live, and that’s passionately vulnerable so we can share our gifts and have intimate, rich, and meaningful relationships and life experiences. It’s a self-improvement opportunity for all of us and I invite you to watch Jake, witness his passion, honesty, vulnerability and ability to create intimacy. It’s mind-blowing and I love it!

Action Item:
Focus on being more vulnerable in your interactions with people this week,
and notice how much more rich and intimate those experiences become.
And, of course, watch the video below to be inspired by Jake’s comeback performance 🙂

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How to Have Joy in 30 Days

How to Have Joy in 30 Days

Dave Sunde, Pastor of Adult Ministries at Riverbend Church in Austin, Texas

by Dave Sunde

I used to imagine that I was my own person; that, somehow, I didn’t care what people thought of me.

Then I graduated from junior high.

And then my idealism was trumped by reality. The reality is that the most influential component of our lives – for better and worse – is the people around us. I’d like to think my skin is thick enough to absorb let down, disappointment and rudeness. But, if I’m honest, they often have a way of shaping my attitude. I’d also like to think I’m responsive enough to be improved by another’s optimism, joy or encouragement. Sometimes, I’m able to rise above and not give in to ugly. Other times, I let myself be lifted by the infectious joy or optimism that feels temporarily foreign to me.

I want to introduce you to an experiment just in time for Christmas.  It’s an experiment with ‘How to Have Joy in 30 Days’. The goal is to be intentional about recording the most uplifting, encouraging, satisfying, or life-giving encounters of each day through the Holidays. Let’s just be honest, the Holidays can bring out the best & worst. With the added cost, travel, hospitality, and seasonal extra-curriculars, we can be so easily robbed of Joy, a spirit of giving, and the celebration of what it sacred during this time of year.  They don’t have to be laugh-out-loud funny moments. It could be something as simple as delayed gratification like putting off a purchase to avoid debt, having a hard conversation that deepens a relationship, anonymous gifts or favors, acts of kindness,  or volunteering.   They might include savored moments with children or a cherished moment with a spouse.

What I find is that my mind doesn’t naturally readily store joyful encounters for very long, so a little note-taking goes a long way. Keep a record on your phone, in a journal, or by your nightstand. Each day, take a few seconds to keep a ‘joy journal.’ As you do, watch how your awareness of joy can grow.

You can even make this a part of your dinner conversations each night with your family  (I’ve even started asking my kids), asking “what was the best part of your day today?”

Gratitude can feel like a discipline, but it also keeps joy within reach.  Tis’ the Season.

— — — — —

Dave SundeDave Sunde is the Pastor of Adult Ministries at Riverbend Church in Austin, Texas and will be a featured speaker at iGnite’s Intentional Renewal Wellness Retreat in February 2014.  A native Californian, Dave has been involved in professional non-profit and spiritual leadership for over 17 years and has been a pastor at Riverbend Church since 2006. Dave’s passion for loving people and eloquent ability to share his love for others and life is refreshing, uplifting and inspiring.  Join us at the Intentional Renewal retreat and hear Dave speak on Intentional Renewal: What It Is, Why We Were Designed for It & Why We Need It.

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