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Waiting to find your purpose tomorrow is a great way to ensure you don’t live with purpose today. — Jon Acuff

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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 ‘freedom’

The #1 Way To Find Clarity In Life

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Community

Rounding out this weeks’ posts about community, I wanted to share something that has changed my life forever. Something easy but yet difficult and something extremely important.

I was once again reminded of this the other day from my community.

Its the #1 way to find clarity in your life.

Keep It Simple.

I’ve heard other versions, where by some people add a (Stupid) to the end and then use the handy acronym of KISS to sell it, but I can’t afford to pay Gene Simmons, and if indeed the idea is to Keep It Simple, then that last part is superfluous.

And I know all about superflous things, because I used to be in a band called that.

And we rocked.

Hard.

image

*Photo by MinimalWall, Creative Commons

But seriously though, every time I start trending towards the 8 yr old version of myself, all full of drama, I’m reminded of this and take a step back.

This reminds me of how I’m called to live, careless in the care of God.

I’ve began, over time, to understand just how much freedom and peace there is from adopting this, and integrating in my life.

Then comes the magic.

Margin. Clarity. Sobriety.

The things that start to become so clear and easy to see, were the very same things I couldn’t quite figure out before.

Its awesome.

Do you need to remind yourself as you enter this weekend to keep it simple? Can you see how this could be the step, you’ve been missing? And that on the other side, is the peace you’ve been longing for?

Posted on: March 22, 2013

The Importance of Learning to Ask for What We Need.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

Have you ever just sat and asked yourself, “What do I need?”

I was coming home from an event over the weekend, and I began to think about what I needed. Its kind of a strange line of thought, I suppose, because not many of us entertain these kinds of thoughts.  We don’t often just make time and ask that of ourselves.

Well, I do now and let me tell you why.

Several years ago, I went on a retreat and it completely changed my life.  The experience was so awesome, that it has become yet another one of those rare, unique markers that identify who I am.

And one of the most important things I’ve learned and still take away from it, even to this day, is the power of learning to ask for what I need.

The reason why this is so important is because:

The Power is in the Asking, not in the Receiving.

Now let me be clear, asking for what we need and asking for what we want are two totally different things, and to confuse them, well, only leads to confusion.

I practice this, honestly speaking, by having a Needs Journal.

In this journal I just start every page by asking myself what do I need. Sometimes, those entries start to take shape like simple lists, other times, they just end up being tears, or even prayers of some kind. Either way, its a process that I believe ultimately, leads me to a safe place of being present and known.

Which is what I’m all about!

Have you ever experienced someone, in an effort of knowing you, asking you if you needed anything?

Its kind of awkward isn’t it?

I mean, we’re taught and pulled by the ways of southern culture, to be accommodating, and being in need, most certainly is not accommodating, not too mention, the cultural push towards pride and self-sufficiency!

But the beauty I’ve found, is by being willing to acknowledge that first we have needs, and then by naming them, we create safe places, which lead others into authentic experiences of us and the world as a whole.

Which begs the question, do you create safe places?

Are you BRAVE enough to look into the closets of your heart and ask yourself what you need?

I can promise you this, there is freedom, peace, joy and most of all, safety on the other side!

Posted on: March 12, 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

Being. Intentional.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

I recently wrote about how my word of the year this year is intentional.

Since I have been asked the question, what does it mean to be intentional, I thought I would follow up and give some insight.

Being a sports fan, one of the first thoughts I have when I start to think about what it means to be intentional, is the intentional walk in baseball.

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Here you can see a picture of Barry Bonds, receiving one of his 688 intentional walks.  Barry Bonds was such a prolific power hitter, that managers, pitchers and catchers would just plan ahead of time to walk him whenever he came up to bat.

So in this example we see that being intentional means to plan ahead of time.  To think about situations and make up our mind a head of time, what we will do.

Good stuff there.

My next thought about what it means to be intentional, makes me think of the financial guru, Dave Ramsey.

First of all, I have to admit, I LOVE Dave Ramsey.  He is such a tremendous example of so many great things.  

  • Being a great Leader
  • Being a great Entrepreneur
  • Being a wise steward of your money

If you listen to Dave at all on the radio, one of the most used quotes you’ll hear him discuss when talking about budgets is from John Maxwell.

“A budget is simply telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.”

This is the premise of what it means to be intentional, making up our mind to do something and having a plan of action, rather than just coasting and floating, and wondering what happened.

In the entertainment business the key to success is found in pre-production.  This is often what separates the men from the boys, the rookies from the experts, and the wanna-be’s from the real deals.  You have to think ahead and plan everything out.  Mitigate every contingency and you’ll be prepared to execute with confidence and lead with ease.

Understanding what it means to be intentional, believe it or not, will actually lead us down a path of living a life filled with more joy and less stress.

Did you know that?

And isn’t that what we’re talking about?

I love these two passages from scripture that I think conclude what I’m talking about here.

“But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them.”  Ephesians 5:13 (NLT)

“But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken.”  Psalms 33:11 (NLT)

Understanding what it means to be intentional, believe it or not, will actually lead us down a path of living a life filled with more joy and less stress.

Did you know that?

I bet you didn’t.  

We can unpack that more later, but think about it.  If being intentional involves forethought, preplanning, and making decisions about situations before they happen, the power of the moment is lessened.  The emotional over-whelmed-ness suddenly doesn’t posses the same power, does it?

And thats what leads us to the beauty of living intentional lives.

Are you living this way?

Have you planned out how you want to respond, instead of simply reacting to situations?

If you do, I promise, you’ll start to see more joy, less stress, and feel the freedom from all the options you start to see.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

Posted on: March 4, 2013

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