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Jesus is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. — John Piper

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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 ‘John Eldredge’

This Is Where Life Is Found

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

A couple friends of mine, Jeff Goins and Shaun Groves, are currently in Uganda with a great organization called Compassion International. They are part of a group of bloggers working with Compassion to celebrate and tell the story of all that God has done in 5 years of working in that country. (You should follow the whole team on Twitter)

I’ve worked alongside Compassion for years now and sponsor a child myself. If you’re currently not sponsoring one of these awesome kids through Compassion, then now is the perfect opportunity. With this trip, their team has set a goal of sponsoring 400 kids, and you can be a part of making that goal a reality.

Where Life is Found

Photo Credit: reurinkjan via Compfight cc

Thinking about these guys and the experience they are embarking on, led me to remember a trip I made to Tibet many years ago.

I’ll spare you the details, but one of my fondest memories from Tibet was the experience of sitting there atop the highest peak in the village where I was staying. The Tibetan Plateau is often referred to as “The Roof of the World,” so you can imagine the view I had in those sacred moments.

I’ve never forgotten the vision I had atop that mountain. The sky was so clear I could see for miles and miles. There appeared to be tiny villages one after another, scattered all throughout the valley below.

What a truly awesome perspective to behold.

I still refer back to those memories from time to time, and to this day they still teach me a great a lesson.

We were not created to live atop the mountain.

It was obvious to me, sitting there on that peak, where life could be found. On that ledge, I was alone, I was isolated. But I could see all across the valley, one village after another, full of life.

The air was so thin, yet so pure, I easily found myself struggling to catch my breath after the climb. Listening to the team leaders’ wisdom, I made sure to bring some water and a few snacks with me that day. “It’s too dangerous, attempting to climb without the right provisions,” they said. And of course they were right.

Do you know what I found up on that mountain? Nothing. Nothing apart from what I brought up of course.

Aside from the well-worn path other travelers had made, there was nothing but me, the view, and the glory of God. Were I to get thirsty or hungry up there, I would have been in trouble had it not been for the little things I brought with me.

I may have traveled up that mountain with just a few supplies, but I sure did come down with a whole lot more.

My journey has led me to experience numerous valleys since those weeks spent in Tibet. I’ve agonized as I’ve trekked through them, wanting to relive that mountain top experience again. In the silence and in the hard providence of those valleys, I’ve looked back, wanting to once again behold that majestic view.

In some ways, life was simpler there. My vision was cut and dry. Things were segmented and fit in their little pockets better from that angle. On top of that mountain, it was easy to see what’s ahead, down below, and around the bend.

I imagine that’s a bit of what Moses felt, after spending 40 days atop that mountain. I hear him thinking how much he longed to return to that glorious beauty, that marvelous wonder.

But the fact is we were not created to live on the mountain.

In the valley there is life, and in the valley is where your invitation stands before you. (tweet and share)

That invitation doesn’t sit idle though, it’s calling your name. It’s passionately pursuing you. Eldredge speaks of this in The Sacred Romance.

Similar to how my friends left the country and are pursuing those in Uganda, the Father came down in pursuit of you.

How will you answer? How will you respond?

What happens next, sets the course of your life.

Have you had an experience like mine in Tibet? What lessons did it teach you?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: January 29, 2014

Solving The Identity Crisis: The Creative Order

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

Yesterday, I wrote about The Importance Of Solving Our Identity Crisis, an issue that honestly is just too big and complex for a single post. So today I thought I would add another idea.

I love to tell stories, and more than that I love to hear other peoples’ stories. There is so much to learn and experience just from listening and asking great questions!

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Photo Credit: pfv. via Compfight cc

In fact, if there is a shortcut in life, it will start with listening. [Tweet that and you’ll be awesome!]

Because I hear so many stories, I see this recurring theme of searching for identity in each and every one. We are all wrapped up in living a story and most often times, making agreements, telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter.

This is where I think John Eldredge is so incredibly helpful. In his book Epic, he describes it this way:

For most of us, life feels like a movie we’ve arrived at forty-five minutes late. Something important seems to be going on … maybe. I mean, good things do happen, sometimes beautiful things. You meet someone, fall in love. You find that work that is yours alone to fulfill. But tragic things happen too. You fall out of love, or perhaps the other person falls out of love with you. Work begins to feel like a punishment. Everything starts to feel like an endless routine. If there is meaning to this life, then why do our days seem so random? What is this drama we’ve been dropped into the middle of? If there is a God, what sort of story is he telling here? At some point we begin to wonder if Macbeth wasn’t right after all: Is life a tale “told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing? No wonder we keep losing heart. We find ourselves in the middle of a story that is sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful, often a confusing mixture of both, and we haven’t a clue how to make sense of it all. It’s like we’re holding in our hands some pages torn out of a book. These pages are the days of our lives. Fragments of a story. They seem important, or at least we long to know they are, but what does it all mean? If only we could find the book that contains the rest of the story.

Chesterton had it right when he said, “With every step of our lives we enter into the middle of some story which we are certain to misunderstand.”

Even as I re-read that over and over, I’m at a loss for words! This is what keeps me up most nights, as I endure the heartache of the stories I know.

There is healing though, and there is hope!

Its taken me a very long time to get where I’m at today, but I’ve learned that this healing and this hope rests in The Creative Order.

What I’m talking about here is identity. I’m talking the foundation, the well from which we draw and base our identity on.

That’s The Creative Order.

It’s the rhythm and dance of life, understanding that our being comes before any doing. Living from that place, operating according to that grid, we solve this identity crisis, and can step in to any doing with success.

When we get this right, settled once and for all, that’s when awesome happens.  That’s when awesome things are created!  And It just so happens I’ve recently written an eBook about this very thing and am very excited about releasing it soon.

What does understanding The Creative Order stir in your heart as you read this? How can you look at your story differently, thru the lens of The Creative Order?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted on: April 9, 2013

We Are at War – But We Are Not Alone!

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Community

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*Photo courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

The Resistance

I’m finding that I have a love/hate kind of relationship with this thing.  First off, I hate that its real, but secondly I love thats its real.  It means I’m doing something that matters.

Influencers from every facet of life speak in podcasts and write on their blogs about this and I’ve found great encouragement from them.  You can check a couple of them out here and here.  I highly recommend them both!

What I’ve been impacted by the most recently is the naivety I have towards The Resistance and how much it plagues my life.

And I know I’m not alone.

John 10:10 (NLT) says:The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose to give them a rich and satisfying life.

I love how John Eldredge breaks this down in his book Waking the Dead. He gives us a great gift by reframing the issue like this:

By all means, God intends life for you. But right now that life is opposed. It doesn’t just roll in on a tray. There is a thief. He comes to steal and kill and destroy. Why won’t we face this? I know so few people who will face this. The offer is life, but you’re going to have to fight for it, because there’s an Enemy in your life with a different agenda.

There is something set against us.

We are at war.

I don’t like that fact any more than you do, but the sooner we come to terms with it, the better hope we have of making it through to the life we do want. This is not Eden. You probably figured that out. This is not Mayberry, this is not Seinfeld’s world, this is not Survivor. The world in which we live is a combat zone, a violent clash of kingdoms, a bitter struggle unto the death. I am sorry if I’m the one to break this news to you: you were born into a world at war, and you will live all your days in the midst of a great battle, involving all the forces of heaven and hell and played out here on earth.

Continuing from yesterday’s post, what I find myself turning to more and more in life is fighting this resistance within the framework of community. We are made stronger, reminded of the truth, and inspired to fight, when we take this struggle to our communities, asking for help.

Perhaps you’re reading this, and the resistance is kicking your tail.  Well you’re certainly not alone. I know exactly what thats like.

Maybe its time to reach out.

Maybe its time to ask for help.

We are at war and cannot fight alone.

What has helped you the most in your battle with the resistance?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted on: March 19, 2013

A Picture for How We Are to Live

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

I’m stubborn.

I know that probably won’t come as a complete shocker, but it’s the truth.

And over the years I’ve learned many lessons.  Unfortunately most of the time, because of my stubbornness, I’ve typically had to learn things the hard way.

I know I’m not alone in that either!

One of the things I’m still learning, but getting better at thankfully, is letting go of the wheel, submitting, and releasing control, being utterly dependent on God as my source of provision. I’m not just talking about finances here either. I’m talking provision in peace, joy, wisdom, strength, etc.

I have adopted Matthew 6:25-26 as an anchor and I just love in The Message when it says,

“not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God.”

That’s the picture of how our lives are to be lived.  Its hard and scary for me personally, especially as I just heard the news that my wife didn’t get the job she was hoping for, and that essentially we needed her to get.

So I’m back to letting go, submitting, and trusting.

John Eldredge discusses this very thing in Wild at Heart:

“Then the Lord intervened” is perhaps the single most common phrase about him in Scripture, in one form or another. Look at the stories he writes. There’s the one where the children of Israel are pinned against the Red Sea, no way out, with Pharaoh and his army barreling down on them in murderous fury. Then God shows up. There’s Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who get rescued only after they’re thrown into the fiery furnace. Then God shows up. He lets the mob kill Jesus, bury him … then he shows up. Do you know why God loves writing such incredible stories? Because he loves to come through. He loves to show us that he has what it takes.

It’s not the nature of God to limit his risks and cover his bases. Far from it. Most of the time, he actually lets the odds stack up against him. Against Goliath, a seasoned soldier and a trained killer, he sends … a freckle-faced little shepherd kid with a slingshot. Most commanders going into battle want as many infantry as they can get. God cuts Gideon’s army from thirty-two thousand to three hundred. Then he equips the ragtag little band that’s left with torches and watering pots. It’s not just a battle or two that God takes his chances with, either. Have you thought about his handling of the gospel? God needs to get a message out to the human race, without which they will perish … forever.

What’s the plan? First, he starts with the most unlikely group ever: a couple of prostitutes, a few fishermen with no better than a second-grade education, a tax collector. Then, he passes the ball to us. Unbelievable.

Those are some encouraging stories and images there.  I know I needed them this morning and I suspect you may too.

Reread that selection again and just let it wash over you.

Soak it in and let The Father comfort you.

He loves to come thru for us!

Do you live careless in the care of God?

What comes up in your mind as you think about that phrase?

Leave a comment in the comments below!

Posted on: February 26, 2013

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