Awesome Quotes

God seeks Himself in us, and the aridity and sorrow of our heart is the sorrow of God who is not known to us, who cannot yet find Himself in us because we do not dare to believe or trust the incredible truth that He could live in us, and live there out of choice, out of preference. But indeed, we exist solely for this, to be the place He has chosen for His presence, His manifestation in the world. His epiphany. — Thomas Merton

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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 ‘jesus’

5 Things We Care About But God Doesn’t

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Community

There is a new trend that has crept up in our culture, and you can’t hardly make it through a single day without bumping into it in one way or another. This trend usually involves these questions: Are you chasing your dreams? Are you passionate about your work? Are you doing work that matters?

And if you were to just take those questions by themselves, then they are pretty harmless.

But hidden underneath them is a message that cuts much deeper.

It’s a message that says what you do is what matters the most.

It’s a lie.

Things We Care About But God Doesn't

As a matter of fact there are lots of things we care about which frankly doesn’t matter near as much as we think. I’m convinced that God doesn’t care about them as much as we think He does.

  • What we do for a living or who we’ve worked for
  • What school our kids go to
  • Who our friends are
  • How proverbial our tweets are
  • How stylish my car, clothes, or house is

When we do the hard work of looking in the mirror and asking why we care about these things so much, what surfaces is something most of us would not like to admit.

The reason why we place so much importance on these things is because they allow for us to feel better about ourselves, thereby placing ourselves on little pedestals above others.

Now you would never actually say to someone who you’re doing this, and honestly, most of the time you don’t know that you’re doing this, but we all do.

What’s been striking me as of late, is that God could care less about your or my status in life. He couldn’t care less about what kind of car you drive, or how creative your title is a some job somewhere.

That doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, however. Don’t misunderstand me.

If you don’t believe me just read the gospels.

What you’ll see time and time again is Jesus answering his critics by saying things like sell everything and follow me ( Mark 10:21 ) or let the dead bury the dead and follow me (Matt 8:22 ).

We can even discern what really matters to God when Jesus asks Peter if he loves him in John 21:15-17.

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.” “Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”

What Really Matters Then

This is a hard place to settle into and an even harder place to constantly live out because everything around us seems to be pulling us in directions towards things that just don’t matter much.

From what begins as honest desires to feel safe and secure, grows into false idol worship, distancing us from what really matters.

Once again, I believe answers rest in experiencing the Gospel.

Do you remember when Christ’s disciples were taking out their measuring sticks and asking Jesus who was the greatest and so forth?

Do you recall what came next in the story?

Jesus got up, got a basin of water, and began to wash their feet.

In one single act of servanthood, Christ dispels all notions of what matters and what doesn’t.

He lives a life that says, do you want to matter? Then be last. Do you want to be wealthy? Then give everything you have to those less fortunate.

Why would we think those words aren’t as applicable to us today?

Jesus teaches us that what we think matters most, is actually foolishness. He lived what matters most. ( Be Awesome. Tweet That!)

I’d love to see a new trend pop up in books and self-help circles that preach and teach that message.

What do you think? Do you agree, disagree?

What things do you think are important that probably doesn’t matter as much as you’d like them to?

Share in the comments below!

 

Posted on: August 9, 2013

You’re In Good Company

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

Here’s some good news for us all.

It’s far easier for us to look at the success of others, comparing ourselves to them, and feel disappointment even disqualification. But the truth is that’s a trap.

Think for a moment what life would be like if we were all trying to be exactly like the person on the latest cover of __________ (insert whatever magazine or website you follow). Things would get dull pretty quickly.

And if that’s not enough, consider this:

o  Moses stuttered.

o  David’s armor didn’t fit.

o  John Mark was rejected by Paul.

o  Timothy had ulcers.

o  Hosea’s wife was a prostitute.

o  Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.

o  Jacob was a liar.

o  David had an affair.

o  Solomon was too rich.

o  Jesus was too poor.

o  Abraham was too old.

o  David was too young.

o  Peter was afraid of death.

o  Lazarus was dead.

o  John was self-righteous.

o  Naomi was a widow.

o  Paul was a murderer.

o  So was Moses.

o  Jonah ran from God.

o  Miriam was a gossip.

o  Gideon and Thomas both doubted.

o  Jeremiah was depressed and suicidal.

o  Elijah was burned out.

o  John the Baptist was a loudmouth.

o  Martha was a worry-wart.

o  Mary was lazy.

o  Samson had long hair.

o  Noah got drunk.

o  Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?

o  So did Peter, Paul—well, lots of folks did.

So see, you’re in some very good company!

Be encouraged today! Creating the Awesome isn’t about duplicating someone or something else. That’s tiring and played out. It’s about being who you are created to be and letting others experience that beauty!

Do me a favor.

Leave a comment telling me why you feel disqualified or why you feel inadequate and let me share with you some truth about that!

Posted on: June 24, 2013

The #1 Way To Identify What You Worship

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Worship

There are so many great things happening around here and soon I’ll be launching a brand new the.josh.collins, packed full of awesome stuff so stay tuned for that. You don’t want to miss out on any of that!

In the journey of seeking, planning, strategizing, and launching, several things have come up that I believe are foundation shaking. And because worship is a theme, I discuss here, the object of our worship keeps coming up over and over again.

*Photo Credit: Breno Peck via Compfight cc

I’ve often written about the process of living carelessly in the care of God, and how that translates into peace and joy.  I’ve also written countless times about struggle and pain. And the thing that keeps signaling to me like a flashing neon sign, is every time I encounter these places, which admittedly, feel far too frequent, I’m brought back to a very important question:

What is it that I’m worshipping, where does my hope rest? 

And here is what I’ve discovered.

The #1 way to identify what we worship is found in these moments.

It’s in the moments when we don’t clearly know whats next, or can’t see past whats right in front of us, that the idols of our heart are so clearly identified.

Let me explain.

I love the story of Lazarus and all the great things that are going on in and around the telling of this story in scripture. You see I too, feel very much like Lazarus. I once was dead, but because of Christ I’m now alive. It’s really that simple. But the other day I read a great article featured on The Desiring God Blog by Jon Bloom.

You can read it here.

The point though is that each and every time we encounter the hard stuff, whether that’s hard providences, broken things, people or situations, or even just the dark night of the soul, inevitably the point is to reveal and make known God’s Great Glory. Jon says this well here:

And yet, Jesus delayed precisely because he loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus. He knew that Lazarus’s death and resurrection would give maximum glory to God and his friends would all experience maximum joy in that glory. It would make all their suffering seem light and momentary (2 Corinthians 4:17).

I love how he uses that word precisely.

This is good news people! This contradicts each and every one of those voices in our heads, that tells us we’re alone, unloved, not accepted, and not cared for. Which is precisely why our worship is meant only for The One True Provider, Comforter, and Lover of Our Souls.

So I’ll ask you, where is your hope? Who or what do you worship when you face times like this? What does reading this make you think about?

Share your thoughts with us all below!

Posted on: March 28, 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

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