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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 ‘fear’

The One Thing No One Escapes

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

Note: I am extremely honored and proud to share a piece of beautiful prose from one of my closest friends, Glenn Taylor. I could write hundreds of words on who Glenn is and why he is the very best man among men, but they would never come close. Instead I’ll let him him do it — I was created to reflect a glory of purely connecting with others, helping them while living completely transparent — without fear — and that is who my Father sees when he looks at me and that is who he says that I am.
The Fear

Photo Credit: raffacama via Compfight cc

The Fear

I feel the tingling down in my feet.

A sick feeling deep in my gut that shakes me to my core.

My head tells me I’ve been here before and will be again… and again.

My head tells me I have to figure it all out… and that I am alone.

My head droops… I walk without purpose… shuffling along without direction, wanting to hide.

I hear myself saying I am alone…

The small voice tells me he was always with me — I was never alone.

I want to get sick and throw out the poison from somewhere deep.

In my chest my heart beats loudly and I am suddenly aware of it.

I breathe deeply and look at the parts which add up to something bad.

And though the parts don’t add up — I will not fear.

Though everything swirls around me like a tornado whipping about — I will not fear.

Catastrophe surrounds me at every angle — I cannot fear — it is not courage I am drawing up but something different — it is different.

The sickening poison of fear must come out from my gut… from deep in my soul — from the dreaded past.

The sum whole should not equal peace and yet somehow the promise is for peace.

Even retelling my very story should raise the fear and invite it all back into that space shaped just for it.

Yet retelling my story points to unexplainable joys and treasures in the middle of the pain, snapshot gifts of life.

And as I quiet my soul again I think I hear the small voice speak a word — or a name I need to hear….FEARLESS.

How I question what I think I’ve heard

I refute and reject it entirely and try to move on…

Scenes flash before my eyes… scenes from the past but this time viewed through a different paradigm.

With the new perspective what I saw were not cowardly scenes but knowing the internal fears those actions looked brave — is that how you see me?

Standing strong in the face of many fears, crippling fear…

My old mate — not a friend but an occupant of my soul that knows me too well — the enemy that drains my heart.

You know me all too well and yet you demand everything, all of my space, all of my energy… it is never enough for you… you want everything.

I go back to the Well to draw more strength… when I bring up the bucket there is only that word again…FEARLESS.

Really Father?  Is that what you think?

Again he shows me evidence of men who are afraid who become bold, men who lie who become a rock of virtue, men who steal from others who become the biggest generous givers. The economy of what is seen does not equal what they became, a new name was given and a trajectory of an incredible destiny.

What I was told all of my life… all of the stories — they push back — they try to ground me… but they will not overcome this new foothold of hope.

The wave of dread will not envelope me into darkness this time… it roars at me with all of its might — anger and roaring… but deep inside in my soul is an untouchable foothold that feels some type of unexplainable peace.

Although outwardly I shake I continue to press forward… one step, then another…. My father sends a message through brothers —”take the next step”— and by only focusing on the next step — and that step only — I have less space for the fear to try to rush back in.

Do you know the fear Glenn speaks of here? Where do you go with that fear? What do you do with it?

Share in the comments below.

Posted on: January 31, 2014

What Your Worry Is Really Saying About You

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

Every single person on the planet worries. You do. I do. We all do.

Shoot, even now I’m worrying a little bit about the boy who will take my daughter out on her first date (when she’s 25 of course).

What Your Worry Is Really Saying About You

Photo Credit: liquidindian via Compfight cc

Sometimes worry can be a good thing.

It can heighten our senses, create due diligence, or even hyper-vigilance.

But most of the time, the only thing worry says about you, is the one thing you don’t want to admit.

You’re a control freak.

Where you experience worry is where you’re attempting to control the uncontrollable. (Tweet that)

I know this to be true.

As you very well may know, I’ve made a great living as an Experience Architect working for literally hundreds of the best artists, entertainers, and communicators out there. I could easily drop a few names, making you think I’m much cooler than I really am, but that’s not the point.

Working under the umbrella of someone else’s name is easy. I can do that blindfolded and with my hands tied behind my back. That’s a no brainer.

But creating awesome experiences, where it’s my name and my reputation at stake, now that seems like a whole another thing altogether.

This week my wife and I’s company Tinsel & Twine, hosts another Christmas Barn Sale. We do a few of these events a year, and they’ve grown tremendously over the years. This year we have over 100 vendors, food trucks, live music, and all sorts of other fun stuff including pictures with Santa.

Because my wife and I believe so strongly in community and we’ve been given far more than we deserve, we use these events to raise money for various projects and non-profits in our community. This year’s event has partnered with a great organization called Franktown Open Hearts.

This summer my wife and I were praying about what God was calling us to with this year’s event and we both came together with the same exact vision to raise $10,000 for Franktown. I wrote about this earlier a couple months ago. It’s the BIGGEST and SCARIEST thing I’ve ever attempted to do.

So as this week has approached I’ve noticed worry start to creep up, deep inside me. It’s been like a slow moving storm cloud, sparking all sorts of anxiety, fear and doubt.

  1. Anxiety that people won’t show up.
  2. Fear that we won’t reach our goal and come off looking like failures.
  3. Doubt that says, we don’t know what we’re doing and will be left alone out in the cold (literally, it’s going to be cold outside).

But then I came across this passage of scripture that jumped right off the page at me.

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do. James 1:5-8 NLT

It was as if God was asking me, now who is wiser, you or me? Who’s sovereign, you or me?

Well, duh, the answer to that question is pretty easy and no one wants to be described as unstable!

But here’s the key.

To experience the gospel and find rest in the gospel means that you live out of the understanding of God’s eternal sovereignty. From the securely attached place of knowing His character (faith), and experiencing his goodness (grace and mercy), you’ll be free to live without worry.

While I know this all to be true, even re-reading that last couple sentences makes me think, yeah sounds pretty easy.

Truth is some days it’s not. Like the last few days for me.

So here’s what I’ve been practicing to re-center myself without worry.

  1. Speak some truths of the character of God. (He is for me, He is with me, He loves me, He is passionately pursuing me, He’s always faithful, etc.)
  2. Reflect on times when those truths have felt more tangible than they do today.
  3. Acknowledge that my feelings may change on a whim, but God’s character never changes. So if those things were true yesterday, then they are still true today.
  4. Invite the Father into my worry.

Now I may not succeed in meeting the goals I have made for this event. I may not sell enough tickets, I may not have enough help to get everything done that I’d like to. It’s probably going to rain, and it’s definitely going to be cold, but none of those facts take away from the truths I’ve identified and agreed with along the way.

And that’s what really matters for you and I.

Question for you: Where does worry attack you the most? Do you recognize the connection between worry and control in your life?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: December 2, 2013

The BIGGEST and SCARIEST Thing I’ve Ever Done

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

“There was this one time…”

I can just imagine all great stories starting with that simple little phrase. I’m sure you have one or two that you could tell using that phrase. I do too.

You see, there was this one time when I was in Nigeria. I had just finished up two big festivals and I was trying to get out of the country. Normally that wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but this time it was. We had been scheduled to leave the day before but were denied permission to leave. There were men with really big guns, and it was obvious, there was a lot of intimidation going on. I’m not talking about the handguns you see carried by police officers in U.S. airports, I’m talking about really big M-16, AK-47 type guns, and you could tell these guys would use them if they wanted to.

So the following day we tried again. This time one person in our group had a very large bag of cash that would grease the wheel so to speak, allowing us to get on the plane and get out of the country. It worked.

I felt so much fear and anxiety that I ended up having a panic attack on the way to the airport during the second attempt.

It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever been through.

But looking back, it pales in comparison to what I’m attempting to do now!

My wife and I own a business called Tinsel & Twine and we produce these awesome outdoor vendor based marketplaces. Mary (my wife, the brains of the operation, and whom you should follow) dreamed up this whole thing several years ago in an attempt to creatively make some extra money during the holiday season. And what simply began as a way for us to provide for Christmas, and involve some of our super creative friends has grown and blossomed into something much much bigger.

We produce several events a year but our flagship is our Fall Barn Sale.

These events not only allow for us to involve our community and the many creatives out there, but also serve as a vehicle for us to raise money, making a difference for various non-profits that we love and care about.

This year is a little bit different.

I had an idea a couple of months ago, that were we to pull it off, would be nothing short of awesome. But on the flip side, if we fail, well, you get the picture.

It’s the BOLDEST, BIGGEST, and SCARIEST thing we’ve ever attempted to do.

We have set a goal of raising $10,000 and personally taking 20 families under our wing to provide them with an awesome Christmas experience! These are families just like yours and mine with a few exceptions. Most of them are broken homes with no father figure, and can’t afford the things you and I take for granted. Things like a Christmas tree, and presents to go under that tree.

And in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a whole lot of money, but it certainly feels that way to us!

In just typing out these words, I can feel the fear manifesting in my fingers.

But if you and I are to intentionally live a life that matters, then inevitably we’ll have to stare down some giant fears.

Fear of failure is one of those.

There is good news for you and I today though, and it comes from 2 Timothy 1:7

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”

I’ll be continuing to share some of this story, giving updates, progress reports and celebrate with you guys primarily through my newsletter, so be sure to sign up in the box below!

UPDATE: Below is a link to either buy a ticket if you’re going to be nearby, or help us reach our goal by donating! Stop by and take a look!

Tinsel & Twine Christmas Barn Sale

Tinsel & Twine Christmas Barn Sale

Starts: Thu, Dec 05, 2013 at 5:00PM
Ends: Sat, Dec 07, 2013 at 8:00PM
The Beloved Gentry’s Farm in Franklin Tennessee

Buy Tickets

What is something that you’re reluctant to attempt to do because of fear?

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

I’d love to know! Share in the comments below!

Posted on: August 12, 2013

Learning How To Hit The Reset Button Through Gratitude

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

People have often come to me over the years looking for a new way to see a set of problems or for new ideas on how to solve a particular issue. I love when this happens because I am great at solving problems, coming up with new ideas, and I get a tremens amount of joy from listening to the stories of other people. I especially love being a part of any story where obstacles and fears are overcome.

Believe it or not one of the greatest needs I see in solving problems is the need for hitting the reset button. And because I’ve needed this myself, I decided I would share my process on how I’ve learned to do it.

First of all, hitting the reset button on any given problem, circumstance or conflict doesn’t happen automatically by a simple 3 pronged approach. Life and it’s hurdles are far too dynamic and complex for that. But what I have learned through some very hard providences and difficult lessons is that by taking this initial step, many times the necessary shift is created, leading me to a fundamental reset.

This initial step I’m referring to begins and ends with gratitude.

Photo Credit: mtsofan via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: mtsofan via Compfight cc

I love what Einstein says about gratitude,

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” -Einstein

Isn’t that true? We can either act like we have all the power and can control everything or we can find rest through gratitude.

Now when times are tough, conflicts are intense, and life seems overwhelming, getting to a genuine place of gratitude can be a challenging feat in and of itself, but luckily there is a short cut. It’s called a gratitude list.

I have written gratitude lists time and time again over the years and each and every time I ended up in a much better place then when I started. Here is the list I needed to write out last week:

  1. I’m grateful for my family, I don’t deserve to be loved as well as I am by them.
  2. I’m grateful to have a roof over my head, too many people in the world are struggling and currently do not have the safety and security that I do.
  3. I’m grateful to have a job. Even if it’s not perfect and even if it requires I occasionally preserver through the mundane, I know far too well what it feels like to not have one, so therefore I’m grateful I do.
  4. I’m grateful my kids are not going hungry at night. This is a blessing.
  5. I’m grateful to be have several people I could call at a moments notice and they would answer and remind me of who I really am.
  6. I’m grateful that I can call any one of those people and they would also remind me that I’m out of touch, and missing the point.
  7. I’m grateful that I can feel, and am in touch with my emotions. I’m present.
  8. I’m grateful that I’m healthy and have access to the basic necessities of life.
  9. I’m grateful that I live in the United States.
  10. I’m grateful that I am today, one step farther down the road then I was yesterday.

Now I’m not a big self help advocate, quite the opposite actually, but I have to give props where props are due. And in this case I have to give some props to the king of self help himself, Tony Robbins. He famously says, “When you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears.”

The simple fact is that when we change the story we’re telling ourselves, we change our world. That’s the power of gratitude! [you can tweet that if you like]

Here’s some thoughts for you:

First of all, what are some things on your gratitude list? 

How can hitting the reset button with gratitude impact the way you engage and connect with those around you?

Lastly, what are some of your tips on hitting the reset button in life?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted on: May 13, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
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