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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 ‘beauty’

5 Things I Learned from an Arena Full of Women

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church, Experience

This fall I was given the greatest privilege in the world — working with the Women of Faith conference. Each and every weekend I would travel to a different city and spend a few days with an arena full of women. I was probably only one of a couple dozen or so men present. But in-spite of the abundance of estrogen, let me tell you, those weekends were awesome!

And because I’ve worked with live entertainment and produced live events for over 15 years, I can say with pride, it truly was an honor to work alongside such tremendous speakers and entertainers. Some of them I now consider to be friends and allies.

5 Things I Learned From An Arena Full of Women

Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman

As an Experience Architect, one of the most important things I value is sacred space. In my opinion, there is nothing more crucial to impacting lives from any experience, whether that’s conversation in a coffee-house, or an event with an arena full of women, than curating trust, through sacred spaces.

I’ve learned throughout these years, that sacred space and trust can be built various ways, but most importantly, they will always be lead with vulnerability. And in the arena of vulnerability, boy do we men, have a lot to learn.

As a matter fact, vulnerability isn’t the only thing I learned about from these women.

Here are 5 more things I learned from arenas full of women.

1. When it comes to worship, you women have us men beat hands down. I dare say there is any sweeter sound than the sounds of women worshipping with all their hearts. As a worship leader myself, I know this to be true. This fall convinced me once again that the path to restoration and healing, presupposes our adoration of Christ. Our worship will always take us immediately to His lap, where we can be met as we are in His perfect love.

2. Women are stronger than any man realizes. There’s a couple reasons why I say this but mainly this: men, have you ever heard a woman cry tears of brokenness? True authentic, gut-wrenching tears of brokenness? That sound comes from a place of strength few men ever brave the conditions to reach. And boy is that a beautiful sound. It’s where The Father’s love and mercy swoops in, picks us up, and speaks to our hearts, saying, “Now let me carry you for a while.”

3. The issues women deal with make my stuff look small in comparison. Women of course, read that and nod their head, they know it’s true. Men, however, probably read that and start to give a yeah but. Yeah but this or yeah but that. So let me just put this to bed for us all. Aside from all the deep arrows of the heart, the ones that oppress and kill the beauty of true womanhood, there is one thing women have long suffered through that men will never fully comprehend, childbirth. Enough said, right?

4. Though this could technically just be continued from #2 above, men, we frankly have it easy. All we have to do is turn our heads and cough every once and a while. I’m not trying to be graphic here, or cross any imaginary boundary but seriously, as a man I can speak firsthand to the fact that we do not spend enough time thinking about or fully understanding all the various tests, procedures, and otherwise not so fun things that women go through on a routine basis. Trust me here men, throughout this fall, I have heard more than my fair share of stories of exams, certain unwanted relatives coming into town, and a whole host of other stories leading to lots and lots of laughter. All things that have made me say, I’m the lucky one.

5. Last but certainly not least, women you are capable of more than any man comprehends. It’s unfortunate that the debate of gender roles in and out of the church spark such vitriol and heated reaction. I tend to see it more as overreaction and largely due to fear, especially when led by men, but the beautiful lesson I was reminded of this fall is that the gospel is just as present in the lives, stories, and words of a woman than they ever will be in a man. Women have been just as uniquely created in the image of The Father as men have. They are our co-image bearers and the idea that they would be viewed any less is flat-out disgusting to me.

I was honored to work with Women of Faith this year and hope to do so again in the future. The voices and leaders that are a part of that movement are some of the absolute very best and are no doubt leading some awesome experiences in the lives of many women around the country!

If you attended any Women of Faith weekend this year, I’d love to hear your stories of what you experienced over the weekend. You can send them to stories [at] thejoshcollins [dot] com.

Question for you: Women, would you add anything to this list above? Is there something you think I’ve left out? Something that needs to be added? What about you, men?

Posted on: November 25, 2013

Worship Wednesday: Casting Our Cares On God

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Worship Wednesday

This past week I was able to take some much-needed vacation, and although it certainly could have been a few days longer, I enjoyed every moment. My family and I went down to Seaside Florida, one of our most favorite places. I went down there with several expectations in my mind for what I would do, or rather get to do, and while a couple of them were met, the majority were not.

The funny thing about expectations is, we all have them, but we only pay attention to the ones that aren’t met. (Tweetable eh?)

One of the themes which presented themselves to me during this time and because of these unmet expectations, was my need for control. (shocker, I know)

I realize and confess to you guys, the amount of stress and anger I experience is in direct proportion to my need for control.

Worship Wednesday: Casting Our Cares On God

Photo Credit: .faramarz via Compfight cc

Several months ago I wrote about the 6 words that describe the way we ought to live, and right now, this very morning, I’m still working on that.

But this is the thing I love about beauty; it’s everywhere and can be found in everything, if only we open our eyes and look for it. (feel free to tweet that too)

So while I was on vacation in one of the most beautiful places in Florida, I had one song in particular on repeat.

And it just so happened to be speaking directly to my need for control. (and yours too!)

The song is called Cast My Cares by Tim Timmons and there is a great video (shown below) for this song, but before you take a look, read the lyrics first, and ask yourself if there are any areas of your heart that you’re trying to control. What parts of your heart, are you holding onto, refusing to live carelessly?

In the middle of the night
When worry finds me
In the middle of the fight
When strength is gone
In the middle of a fire
When fear is closing in
You are, You are my song
You’re my hope, when hope is goneI will cast my cares on You the almighty
I will cast my cares on You ’cause You’re good
I will cast my cares on You ’cause You love me, You love me
Oh, oh because You love me

In the middle of the night
When worry finds me
In the middle of the fight
When strength is gone
In the middle of a fire
When fear is closing in
You are, You are my song
You’re my hope, when hope is gone

So I will cast my cares on You the almighty
I will cast my cares on You ’cause You’re good
I will cast my cares on You ’cause You love me, You love me
Oh, oh because You love me
Oh, oh because You love me

God of glory
You are able
Through Your power
To be faithful
God of mercy
Every moment
You are near to me

So I will cast my cares on You the almighty
I will cast my cares on You ’cause You’re good
I will cast my cares on You ’cause You love me, You love me
Oh, oh because You love me
Oh, oh because You love me

In the middle of the night
I’ll pray with confidence
In the middle of the fight
You’re greater still
In the middle of a fire
Your love is holding me
You are, You are my song
You’re my hope, when hope is gone

Now listen and watch the video.

The idea behind Worship Wednesday is a simple one.

We have been created to worship – that “switch” is always on, whether we like it or not, and the beauty that’s found everywhere, in everything, is meant to point us toward the extravagant worship of The Father.

This song does that for you and I today.

Are worry and fear robbing you of hope?

Do the burdens you’re carrying feel too big, too heavy, or too difficult to let go?

Let the words of this song guide you to a place of carelessly living the care of God, casting your cares on Him.

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: July 31, 2013

How Should We Respond To Awesome’s Ending?

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

Photo Credit: Silence à gogo via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Silence à gogo via Compfight cc

“All good things got to come to an end

The thrills have to fade

Before they come ’round again

The bills will be paid

And the pleasure will mend

All good things got to come to an end”

At least that’s how Jackson Browne puts it. Quite beautifully, I might add.

And he’s right too. Life is short. One moment we’re here, the next moment we’re not. One moment we’re holding babies in our arms, in my case, the palms of my hands practically, the next we are sending them off to school and on and on. We say things like remember when, and collect and stare at old photos, wishing we could go back in time.

Regardless of the many differences we have, the one thing we all have in common, the one thing that unites us all is, we will, with certainty, all have to account for the brevity of life.

I feel as though I should apologize for the heaviness of this post, but unfortunately worlds seem to be colliding for me as of late. You see one of my dear friends has recently lost his wife after a very long battle with MS, and within a few days another dear friend suffered the passing of a father. As if that were not enough, the frailty of my own father has been once again brutally brought to the surface. His time of creating awesome experiences and impacting the world around him is coming to an end.

I’ve known it for a while. My whole family has actually. It’s no secret. Whether it’s the Dementia, Parkinson’s, Shingles, Arthritis, or any of the many broken and crushed bones having never fully healed through out his life, they all are contributing to the inevitable.

To say this is difficult would be the grossest of understatements.

Words just don’t do justice sometimes.

This is one of those times.

But it’s forcing me to ask yet another hard question of myself. How am I going to respond to Awesome’s Ending?

Have you ever thought of it that way?

That awesome does in fact have an ending. It’s both bitterly painful and abundantly joyful. All at the same time.

I’m reminded of Amy Grant’s words about the passing of her mother, and her father’s battle with dementia. She describes it as the last great lesson we’ll ever learn from our parents.


Those words bring me to tears, just writing them.

And those of you like Cliff and Norm of Cheers, who are regulars to Creating the Awesome, have heard me say this often, but to those who are not, one thing you’ll find is that I never claim to know all the answers. To do so would simply be arrogant and wrong. There are roughly 164 million other blogs out there, all proudly proclaiming that they single-handedly have the answers you seek and need. That their products and their services are the best because they are the best.

Well, sorry, but this isn’t one of those.

And while there are many things I can speak to as an expert, some which, undoubtedly, would help meet a need or solve a problem, I’ve found that I’d much rather participate in the journey with you.

I believe that’s where true beauty is found, where authentic healing is received and where awesome is really created.

Did you catch the power of that word, with?

So this is where you come in.

We’ve all dealt with loss somehow, whether that’s a parent, a child, a sibling, a friend, pet, or any other version of a loved one.

And with what I know to be certain of the future, I’d very much love to hear your stories of how you responded to awesome’s ending.

Were there things that you wish you would or could have done? Said?

What are the things you are grateful for that you were able to do and say?

I quote Frederick Buechner a lot, probably too much to be honest, but in this case, once again, he gives us a beautiful glimpse of glory. He writes in Telling Secrets, “My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours.”

That is why I ask the questions above.

Would you bless us all by sharing below?

Posted on: May 16, 2013

Welcome To Creating the Awesome!

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience, Frontpage

It’s been months in the making and I can’t believe today is here already! I’m so proud and excited to reveal the brand new the.josh.collins. [dot] com and introduce everyone to the land of Creating the Awesome!

To begin with, if you’re a first timer, which most of you are, welcome! I’m both genuinely honored and blessed that would you click and make your way over to my little home base. Be sure to head on over to the new here? page, followed by the about page to get acquainted with what Creating the Awesome is all about!

I love finding beauty in the ordinary and mundane, much like the picture above, and telling the story of that beauty in awesome ways. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world numerous times, filling several passports, creating some of the most incredible experiences for people just like you!

I’ll never forget the first time working with Stevie Wonder, watching him not just connect with the audience but engage each and every one of them, as they united in the harmonious chorus of “Isn’t She Lovely.”

Moments like that, are what I’ve been so fortunate to build a career on, and what I’m most passionate about!

I’m willing to bet that you’ve never thought that you can engage your audience in the same way that Stevie does. Or that you even have an audience at all!

The truth is you do!

There are countless numbers of eyeballs on you at all times, kids waiting to be interacted with, spouses waiting to be partnered with, neighbors waiting to be talked to, even co-workers looking for collaboration. And the sad truth is that most of the time, those opportunities are missed and the chance to make an incredible impact is simply overlooked. Whatever the many reasons are, you have the same opportunity to make a difference and change the world, as any famous celebrity, entertainer, speaker, or great leader.

We all have an audience that has given us permission to impact them. The question is how will we respond? [tweet that and you can be awesome right now!]

The last thing I will leave you with is this: I have written a cool little manifesto, short and powerful, that I would LOVE to give away for free!

Yep, you read that correctly!


In it you will be given an experience of understanding the difference between what the world says is the way to become awesome, and what it means to simply just be awesome.

You can click on the manifesto link at the top of the page, or sign up in the box to the right or even just input your email into the box below and you’ll be well on your way to Creating the Awesome!

Subscribe for free Awesome updates

Join the growing number of influencers in Creating The Awesome!

Best of all, its FREE and only takes a second! (And I’ll send you The Awesome Manifesto as well!)

Privacy Guarantee: We will never share your e-mail address with anyone else.

Obviously, as a communicator, writer and speaker, I love to engage and interact with you, and none of this would make any sense at all without YOUR VOICE!

So leave me a comment below and take a look around, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted on: April 29, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
United States

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