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Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime. — Martin Luther

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Josh has an incredible heart for God and is passionate about helping create environments that lead people to experience God.  He has tremendous gifts that enable him to help churches advance the Kingdom of God.

Posts Tagged ‘Christ’

After Easter: Thoughts From A Ragamuffin

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Worship

I’ve grown up in Church.  I am one of those that can say any time the doors were open I could be found in the Church. And yet for some reason, year after year, Easter would come and go, with me getting new fancy clothes and baskets full of candy, but leaving me no different from before.

This year was different.

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Photo Credit: Glen’s Pics via Compfight cc

This year, Easter took on a whole new meaning, and I’ll tell you why, but in order to do so, I have to back up a little bit.

You see I’ve been working on something big. Something I’ve been dreaming about for a very, very long time. And its been quite a journey just getting to where I am today. Part of that journey means I’ll be launching a new website soon, and recently just finished my first e-book.

And what’s come out of this particular chapter of my story, more than anything else, is the reality that I’m the one that deserves the Cross.

I’m the one, who’s life would be dramatically different where it not for the grace I’ve been shown time and time again, from those closest to me.

Its me, the chief of sinners.

So Sunday, as Passion Week began, sitting there thinking about what was coming up the following Friday, that truth just hit me and has stayed with me ever since.

And so, the Good News of Easter has a sweeter aroma than usual. There really is no turning back, no other way of being. Nothing carries as much weight, nothing provides as much peace, nothing produces life-like the Cross of Christ!

It is true, He is Risen indeed!

So as things are rapidly changing in my life, and opportunities surfacing out of nowhere, I’m brought back to the simple fact that I’m just a man, who continues to be a recipient of the undeserved favor of a King.

I’m just a Ragamuffin, doing his best to make sense of it all.

That has become my worship and is meant to be yours as well.

Here’s a question for you:

What did Easter mean to you this year? Did you experience it any differently?

Posted on: April 1, 2013

Have you forgotten who you are?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

I have 2 boys, Riley, who is 6 and Jonas, who will be 4 soon.  And if you have boys, you know that every boy must go thru a Peter Pan stage.  And my boys are in full bloom accompanied with costumes and swords!

Its just fantastic!

I think we’ve watched every version of Peter Pan ever to have been created at least a hundred times!  We even found one, I had never seen before and continued to watch that every night for a week!

Again, its just fantastic!

The image below is from the scene in Hook, where Robin Williams, having made it back to Neverland, finds himself once again in the community of the Lost Boys.  He, of course, has grown up and doesn’t remember a thing about them.

He has forgotten who he is.

Thats when Pockets, grabs a hold of Peter’s face and says:

“There you are, Peter!”
Robin Williams in ‘Hook’/Image © 1991 TriStar Pictures

I think if we’re honest with ourselves, most of us could admit that we’ve forgotten who are, our true identity.

Bundled and packaged up inside of this is why we can’t accept compliments, receive criticism, or truly be honest with one another and ask for what we need.

This is why I love the Gospel and the leadership lessons of Jesus!

In the arms of Christ, we are found, we are loved, and we are restored to our true identity.

One of my favorite reminders of this is found in Ephesians 1:3-6

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (MSG)

Are you in a place where you’ve forgotten who you are?

Maybe, the walls are caving in on your world, and maybe in the darkness there doesn’t seem to be any light.  

Re-read the passage above and absorb its truth.  

Let this inviting good news, remind you, who you of your true identity. 

Posted on: March 8, 2013

Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter anyways.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

I just love this picture.  

Can’t you hear ole Bobby McFarin in the background?

Truth is, don’t you wish it were that easy?  

That we could just simply use these words as some kind of magic Hogwarts’ spell and it would be true.

Unfortunately, thats only fiction and the reality is that most of at one time or another deal with worry and anxiety.  

Truth is I am one of them.

Recently I had a conversation with someone and was talking about what my career has looked like for the past 15 years. I told them how I’ve been all over the world several times and have been blessed to have done this and done that and when it comes to being an expert, I can speak with confidence about the music business.  

Similarly so, I can say that I’m an expert at talking about worry and anxiety.

Let me share with you why.  

Several years ago, I was fortunate enough to be a part of a team that traveled overseas to Tibet.  One connecting flight after another, we flew to Hong Kong to meet with the rest of our team and prep for the remainder of our journey thru China to get to Tibet.  I was on a production crew that was shooting some documentary footage and we were going to meet and spend some time with the “workers” in that country.  

Christian missionaries, of course, are not allowed in the country, so most of them operate under the auspices of other titles.

It was on that flight to Hong Kong, that I encountered what would be the first of many “panic attacks.”

All of the sudden, the whole plane just squeezed in on me and I couldn’t breathe.  I was surrounded with strange people, strange faces, and had no personal space what so ever.  It was just all too much.  And although I couldn’t name it then.  

I was having a severe panic attack.

It wasn’t until years later, while actually in Nigeria, bribing my way out of the country, trying to get on a plane, that I had another.  Fortunately, there were others there with me who recognized and knew exactly what I was going thru.

I wish I had some kind of clean ending to tell you or magic formula to offer you, or some neatly packaged answer as to how I overcame my struggles, but I just don’t.  Its been something I have dealt with and continue to deal with in one way or another.

I will tell you though, how I believe God is delivering me.

I refer to this often but the answer is found is in Matthew 6:25-26.  I love how The Message translates it.

“Even without a job description, careless in the care of God.”

Thats become my anchor and what I hold on to each and every time, the darkness of worry and anxiety creep up and try to take hold of me.

Have you ever noticed reading the story of Peter and Jesus walking on the water together, that Peter only starts to sink when he takes his eyes off The Father?

Or how, when we get out of step with Christ, the lead ox, thats when the yoke becomes a burden, thats when the load gets heavy?

I’ve long began to notice in my life, the times when I take my eyes off of God, thats when I begin to struggle the most.  Thats when worry peaks its ugly head up.  

Thats especially when the “if only…, then…,” lie sounds so appealing.

Do you know what I mean here?

The Law of Averages, says I’m not alone, so I know you do.

Where are you in your journey today with anxiety, fear, and worry?

I’d love to hear about your worry, and know your story of anxiety and how you’re learning to overcome them as well.

Leave me some comments and join in the conversation.

Posted on: March 1, 2013

Change comes from being present.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Have you ever noticed in the New Testament, especially the gospels, that whenever a story is being told about Jesus, it always begins with something like: “then Jesus crossed the lake, and people gathered, or Jesus came to a place and a crowd began to form?”

Why is that?

Why is it, that wherever Christ went, people followed and seemed to always gather?

There are TONS of obvious christian platitudes that would serve as very good answers here, but I’m trying to look deeper.  

I’m trying to connect with why that doesn’t still happen today.

It makes sense to me that God incarnate, God made flesh, would attract people to himself.

  1. First of all, He’s God.
  2. Second of all, there has never ever been anything like him before.  He speaks differently, he acts differently, and he reacts differently.
  3. Lastly, there are the stories spreading like wildfire, about all the amazing miracles he is performing.

Those things naturally make sense to me.  And since I know that we have been created to be in relationship with Him and wired to worship Him, I can see why in New Testament times, that happened.

But still, why doesn’t it seem to be happening anymore?

How come each and every statistic out there say that a large percentage of 18-35 year olds are leaving the church in droves?

Now I’m an expert at many many things, but this I would never come close to being an expert at but I wonder and believe that its probably because you are I aren’t really that different from anyone else.  

I mean we don’t really stand out that much.

  1. Our speech patterns aren’t that different.
  2. Our giving patterns aren’t that different.
  3. Our families aren’t that different.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that may sound harsh and crawl up on some people toes’ a bit, but can we just be honest with one another for a few more minutes?

Scripture tells us in James 2:22 that

“You see, his faith and his actions worked together. His actions made his faith complete.” (NLT)

So what else are we going to reasonably and logically conclude about our lives other than, our faith and our actions, quite simply don’t really attract all that much.

So what’s the response then, you may be asking?

Well, I’m so glad you asked!

I’m convinced, now more than ever, that the journey to living authentic lives, that result in actions of profound faith, attract our culture like bugs to our windshields, and dynamically effect, not just our families, but the world at large, is wrapped up in being present.

I plan on unpacking this further in my e-book that is coming out soon, so be looking for that, (shameless plug I know) but let me just briefly state, that being present is much bigger than simply “living in the moment.”  

Living in the moment is culture’s way of tempting us to do whatever we want whenever we want.

Thats not the Gospel! 

You see, I believe with all my heart that the Americanized version of church we have today, is on the verge of a massive renewal and revival.  I believe that as much as I believe what I’m breathing in right now, as I type this, is called oxygen.  

The question for us all today is:

What are you and I going to do?

How will we respond?

Posted on: February 27, 2013

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