Brett.Ullman

Category - Canadian content

New talk on dating: Need your Help!

In the past few years I have created new talks on sex (The Sex Talk) and pornography (The Porn Project). In both of these cases dating is a must have conversation. I have had a dating talk (dating.for.life) that is presently on Youtube (click here for the talk).

I feel that this talk needs a complete update. Here is where I can use your help. I would love to hear:

  1. any thoughts on dating
  2. great quotes on dating
  3. any current stats you have heard on dating
  4. any good podcasts or sermon series you have seen on dating
  5. any great books on dating
  6. anything you think I need to cover in a talk on dating
  7. any youtube clips on dating
  8. any movies (documentaries) on dating
  9. any funny dating stories
  10. my last talk was called dating.for.life. Any thoughts on a new title?

If you could share this around so it reaches as many people as possible it would be a big help. I want to hear thoughts and ideas from all ages and stages of people.

Thanks for any help.

Carey Nieuwhof: How To Tell If Your Church Is Actually Producing Disciples

Some great thoughts from Carey Nieuwhof for your church. Take some time to read through the entire blog.

Back to Paul. He actually defines what it’s like to be transformed by the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5.

He begins by listing the fruit of people who are NOT being transformed by the Holy Spirit.

Paul says people who are not under the direction of the Holy Spirit have lives characterized by, among other things:

Hatred

Discord

Sexual immorality

Jealousy

Impurity and debauchery

Fits of rage

Dissension

Factions

Envy

Conceit

So…look at the people who are following Christ in your church and ask yourself: is this what their lives look like?

If so, you have some work to do on your discipleship strategy because it’s not producing what the Holy Spirit produces in people’s lives when he’s at work.

So what does the Holy Spirit do in peoples’ lives?

When the Holy Spirit gets a hold of someone, he produces:

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Faithfulness

Gentleness

Self-control

So, (here’s the test again) look at people who follow Jesus in your church and ask “Is this what characterizes their lives more than it did a few years ago?”

If the answer is yes, you have an effective discipleship strategy.

If the answer’s no, you have some work to do.

Click here for the entire blog.

Canadian Truth.Teller: Alex Street

The desire to grow up and be a famous actor is the foundation for my love and comfort on stage.  The skills of an actor have been refined over the years to mold me into a unique, energetic, and inspiring storyteller.  From Jr.Highers to Young Adults to their Parents – I am comfortable speaking to all ages in a crowd of any size to help them see that there is always something bigger going on. 

The only way I can help others see in themselves what I believe God sees in them is if I’m trusting in the Way of Jesus, and I believe Jesus chooses grace and love over fear and law every time.

I hit a turning point this past year when I began asking the question, “can we truly live like Jesus today?”  The radical way of love, and peace, and valuing others is something I often speak boldly towards.  I will encourage others to see themselves as a beloved child of the living God, and go from there.  Delivering a sermon/talk is about creating a memorable moment while inspiring life-change for those involved.

While serving as a Local Church Youth Pastor for 10 years and directing a series of Youth Retreats for 6 years, I had the privilege of working with and listening to and coaching dozens of Speakers which has sincerely helped me understand what ‘works’ with a crowd of teenagers (and their leaders) and what ‘fails’.  With this experience and deep love for the craft, I hope to connect with new people and programs and bring something refreshing and inspiring.

ADULT CHURCH SERVICES/GATHERINGS

  • Will work within the framework of an existing series or theme, if desired.

YOUTH RETREATS/CAMPS

  • Will work within the theme of the Retreat/Youth Ministry.

PARENTING CLASSES/SEMINARS

  • “Let’s Get Messy: The Jr.High Years and Beyond” – Understanding your Young Teen may not be entirely possible, but we can make big steps by having an honest conversation about what is really going on in their minds, bodies, and souls. 
  • “Tribes: Helping Teens Think Outside Themselves” – Connect youth with a small, close-knit community and you will help them begin to live for the sake of others. 

YOUTH WORKERS CONFERENCES & LEADERSHIP TRAINING

  • “Making Teaching Magical” – Helping teens engage with a message through elements of surprise, objects, and storytelling.
  • “Let’s Get Messy: Jr.High Ministry” – What you need to know as you begin investing in this underestimated generation.
  • “Mind The Gap” – A conversation about the relational gaps we can see teens falling into during their time in your ministry.  As leaders move on or friend groups shift, how can we connect our youth to a wider circle of influence?
  • “The Good News About Youth Ministry” – Youth Ministry in Canada is changing, at times it feels like Local Church Youth Ministry is fighting a losing battle.  The Good News is, it doesn’t have to be this way.  It’s worth the risk, try something new. 
  • “Tribes: Helping Teens Think Outside Themselves” – Connect youth with a small, close-knit community and you will help them begin to live for the sake of others. 
  • “Telling a Better Story” – Trust that your story will help others understand the Story of God.  Trust that telling better stories will engage others and help them understand where they fit in the great big Story of God. 

To Learn more about Alex please check out his website – Click Here!

Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School

This past summer I had 10 emails from people asking me if I was “pulling my kids” from the public school board due to the new sex education curriculum. My answer was always no. I have nothing against any of the forms of education (Public School, Catholic School, Private Christian School or Home Schooling) I always say the same thing to parents. I want successful kids. I have seen kids succeed in each of these forms of education and I have seen kids fail miserably in the same forms. For me and my family we have chosen Public Education. Presently Zoe is in Grade 8 and Ben is in Grade 7 in the Public School system. My father was a Principal, my mom a school secretary, my sister a teacher and my brother-in-law a principal, and I also taught in the public board for 10 years. Many of my friends are also teachers and administrators in the public board.

Last week I received this blog from Tim Challies on how your kids can thrive on Public Education. I thought it was a very well written article so I thought I would share it.  He makes some great points.

I recently came across a book titled Going Public written by David and Kelli Pritchard, who together have raised 8 children, all of whom attended public schools. This is not a book that is anti-homeschool or anti-Christian school. The purpose is not to convince you that you ought to place your children in the local public school. Instead it seeks first, to show that your children can thrive at public school and second, to provide a parent’s field guide for helping them do just that. In this way it fills an important niche.

The most valuable lesson of all, at least in my view, is that public schooling is a family affair. The decision to place children in the public education system is a decision to have the whole family involved in this system. They say, “We should not think in terms of sending our child off by himself to ‘the mission field.’ We go there together. This is a family expedition. When we show up each August to enroll our kids for another school year, we are enrolling our family into the life of this institution. This is a joint venture.” This means that mom and dad are involved not just with the children, but with the school and teachers and leaders.

A second valuable lesson is that is the lesson that all parents are homeschoolers. The Pritchards make it clear that public schooling still calls for the parents to teach their children and to be involved in all that they learn. No good parent can abdicate all of the children’s education to other people.

I would challenge you to read the article. As Tim says this is not a debate on where we as Christian families send our kids. The book that he wrote this blog from is one for us who have chosen to send out kids to the public system. It is meant to encourage and to challenge us as parents. Click here for a link on Amazon.ca to the book “Going Public: Your Child Can Thrive in Public School”

Love to hear any thoughts. This is NOT a debate on the new sex education curriculum or a debate on homeschooling vs public schooling vs private Christian schooling.

Please click here for the blog.

Consequences from my 30’s: Celebrating in my 40’s

As a Physical and Health Education major and a personal trainer throughout University it was kind of embarrassing to find myself in a place where my scale hit 272 lbs around 2 1/2 years ago. Now part of this can be blamed on my sedentary lifestyle while I was at home dealing with my anxiety and sleep issues but much of it was to blame from my lifestyle throughout my 30’s. My 30’s were busy building up my speaking ministry, lots of travel, lots of work, lots of bad choices in restaurants, lots of second helpings during mealtime and the busier my life got less and less exercise.

Yesterday when I hit my scale and it said 231.8 I was pretty excited. My goal was to lose 40 lbs and then I would reevaluate. There have been a number of people who have asked me over the past few months how I was losing the weight. Perfect question for a little blog. Here is what I did.

Diet and Exercise. That’s it. No specific diet or specific exercise routine. Just watched what I ate and exercise daily (if I could)

DietI made simple sustainable changes in my diet

  1. I stopped drinking calories. No more pop (soda for my U.S. friends), no more orange juice, no more apple juice etc.
  2. I stopped having a second helping of any meal. This was always hardest at Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving
  3. I began to have 1 smoothie a day to replace a meal (usually breakfast ). I bought a Magic Bullet which has been awesome. You can have hundreds of combinations of smoothies. My favourite is Protein powder, fruits (your choice), Progressive VegeGreens & PhytoBerry powder, Cocoa (this makes it taste like a chocolate milkshake), flax seeds, omega 3 liquid, yogurt and sometimes a banana. Below is a picture of what I would usually put into each smoothie. It is important for me to note that my smoothies were for health as well as weight loss. I choose to add those healthy items to my smoothie for my wellness.
    IMG_4008
  4. I began to try and have 1 salad as a daily meal (usually lunch). See image below. Every salad was different. Lots of veges and always protein included ( chicken, egg etc)
    IMG_3980
  5. Eating out at restaurants I always blamed as a reason but this was really a choice for me. When I am on the road speaking, I now eat pita’s or schwarma’s when I can. If I am stuck out at a burger joint I would have a burger, side salad and a water.There are lots of better choices at restaurants.  It is still hard to make the right choice when I am out, sometimes I crave fries so I will allow myself what I call a handful and stick to that.
  6. I cut down on evening snacks before bed
  7. I cut down on my consumption of bread. When I have eggs I now only have 1 piece of whole wheat bread with it. Not 2 or 3
  8. I drank lots of water
  9. For snacks I would have fruit, nuts (small handful of almonds or sunflower seeds)
  10. I switched margarine back to butter
  11. I cut out all Aspartame from diet

ExerciseI try and exercise daily

  1. I took up running when I was 38. I continue to love my runs (2-3 times per week). Below is a screen shot of the running app I use called Endomondo. I also bought a heart rate monitor
    IMG_4007
  2. I started using an app on my phone called MOVES. It tracks how many steps I get a day. The minimum you should have is 5000 and the suggested is 10,000. Some days when I was working from home I would only get 1200 steps a day. When I was out I took the stairs anytime I could. I would park farther away at a mall or grocery store so I could add in more steps. Little changes add up over time. Below is a screenshot from yesterday.
    IMG_4006
  3. The days I was not running I added in weights. I was using the 2 weight routines from the P90X workouts. I also had a few other stretching and cardio routines I would add in to change up the routine.

Cheating: I also cheat in my diet and exercise. Last night I had a burger and fries for dinner (with water). Sometimes I take a day off of exercising. You can treat yourself once in a while, just not everyday.

For me these changes have been ones that are sustainable in my life. It is a new healthy lifestyle that I hope to continue.  I have set a new goal of 220 for my weight. I don’t really know what the perfect weight it as everyone one is different. My goals now are to keep up my healthy lifestyle. Being a guy who is 6’6″ tall I think that around 200 might be perfect for me.

Nietzsche once talked about for anything great to happen there needs to be a “Long obedience in the same direction” So what can you change in your life today? What is one thing you can switch to move you more towards a health sustainable lifestyle?

Love to hear in the comments what has been helping you in your journey towards a more healthy lifestyle. What has worked for you? What has not?