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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 ‘The Father’

Don’t Miss The Point, Your Life Already Matters

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Experience

I had a friend once tell me a story about a father.

Don't Miss The Point, Your Life Already Matters

Photo Credit: Wyoming_Jackrabbit via Compfight cc

This father was no different from you. He had a wife, kids and a family full of responsibilities. Like you, he rarely had any time to himself. He worked his whole life in a factory, earning a decent wage, and that work provided a home to live in and put food on the table. Year after year, in spite of the challenges this family faced, they continued to grow closer and closer together.

Sure, there’s lots of stuff you could say this family missed out on, but they were ok with that.

They were happy just as they were.

One year, the father saved and saved, stashing away every possible penny, in order to buy his oldest son a trumpet. Seeing the look on his face as he opened this awesome gift, made this father’s joy overflow. To the son, it was a dream come true. His greatest desire was to play the trumpet. He was more passionate about music than anything else in life.

From that time on, while most kids were out riding bikes or playing ball or something like that, he could be found practicing in a room somewhere.

And as this father’s son grew older and older, he began to experience more and more success. Before he knew it, he went from playing in front of hundreds to playing in front of thousands.

Then one day he got a phone call.

His father was dying.

Naturally the son, loving his father, immediately dropped everything to be by his side.

Having arrived home just in time, the father whispered these words to his son. He said, “Son, I’m so proud of you! I never could have imagined all the places you’ve been and all the people who have heard you play. I love you so very much!”

His father died that evening.

The son began to remember back to that one christmas, when his father gave him his first trumpet. He still had that trumpet packed away somewhere. He thought he knew the sacrifice his father had made all those years ago, but it wasn’t until the funeral, that he learned the true weight of his father’s sacrifice.

With dozens of neighbors and friends all gathered around to celebrate this father’s life, it was the father’s best friend that began to tell the son a whole different story.

He congratulated the son on having just played in Paris earlier that year, and went on to tell him of just how marvelous a piano player his father was. He told him of days long ago, when the two of them would sit in front of the old piano and dream of traveling the world together, much like the son was doing now. But all that changed when the son was born.

The son couldn’t believe what he was hearing. How could he have never known? How could his father have never told him?

That’s when it hit him.

That’s when he knew just how much his father had truly sacrificed for him. And he loved him for it all the more!

The tragedy of it all.

You see I’m convinced that most of the things we think are important, really aren’t that important at all.

Most of the stuff we think matters most doesn’t really matter much at all.

And the things we place the most value on, aren’t really that valuable after all.

There are those who would try to convince you that the father’s life was tragic. That he died without having tasted success or that somehow his life had been wasted on providing for that family year after year.

But I tell you the truth, that’s not the tragedy.

Tragedy isn’t missing out on a life that matters, it’s dying never realizing the life you had, was what Christ died for! (tweetable)

Tragedy is found in perverting the argument.

To say that one means more than the other. Or that one counts more the other.

Do I believe that you should pursue your passions, and dream big dreams? Absolutely! You bet! That’s what Creating the Awesome is all about!

But here’s the necessary shift.

Your life already matters.

To live life through the lens of the gospel means to understand that you’ve been uniquely and intentionally created in the image of The Father. (Gen 1:26-27)

Experiencing that is where any awesome will come from.

That’s where it all starts.

Don’t believe me?

Then download The Awesome Manifesto and see for yourself.

What do you think, was the father’s life tragic?

Share in the comments below!

Posted on: August 19, 2013

Worship Wednesday: You Are The Beloved

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Worship Wednesday

Of the many jobs and roles I’ve played throughout my life, none are more precious to me than that of Father. I have been blessed with 3 of the most amazing and beautiful gems in the whole wide world. They mean far more to me than any accolade or earthly treasure. There is nothing I take more seriously, than the responsibility to be their dad. And although I fail miserably time and time again, I continue to be rewarded with the greatest gift of all: their love!

Their love teaches me more about life and my faith, than any sermon, book, or study. The fact is I experience more of the gospel being made complete through the extension of their love than just about anywhere else!

It is through my beloved-ness of them, that I learn what it truly means for me to be called The Beloved.

Photo Credit: Dalla* via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Dalla* via Compfight cc

This is why I’m lead to worship!

I don’t deserve to be called Beloved. Like the image above, I don’t deserve to be held and whispered to, saying that it’s all going to be ok. I spit and kick and lash out in tantrums when I don’t get what I want, and The Father’s response each and every time is to hold me close and continue to call me Beloved.

And that’s what He does for you too!

That’s why He deserves our worship!

And that’s the source of Creating the Awesome.

When you and I understand who we are, understand our identity as Beloved, then and only then does the foundation of our hearts settle, creating in us, the desire to worship. Once we experience this life giving freedom, we can’t help but wake up with renewed energies and passions. It becomes the new normal.

Henri Nouwen discusses this perfectly in his book Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World. He says:

“Aren’t you, like me, hoping that some person, thing, or event will come along to give you that final feeling of inner well-being you desire? Don’t you often hope: ‘May this book, idea, course, trip, job, country or relationship fulfill my deepest desire.’ But as long as you are waiting for that mysterious moment you will go on running helter-skelter, always anxious and restless, always lustful and angry, never fully satisfied. You know that this is the compulsiveness that keeps us going and busy, but at the same time makes us wonder whether we are getting anywhere in the long run. This is the way to spiritual exhaustion and burn-out. This is the way to spiritual death. … Being the Beloved expresses the core truth of our existence.”

This is the essence of our worship and why we lead others in worship.

So I invite you today, rest in the knowledge and core truth of your existence.

You are the Beloved!

And btw, if you’re interested in guest posting for Worship Wednesday, I’d love to have you! Email me directly at josh [at] thejoshcollins [dot] com and tell me your idea!

Posted on: June 5, 2013

How I Remember Brennan Manning

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Church

I’ll never forget that day, walking through the hotel, stumbling across him. Here sat this great contemplative, sitting there on the couch almost as if he were waiting for me, expecting me to sit down next to him. He wasn’t like other famous writers or famous celebrities. He had the time, and he was glad to share a few moments with me.

His name was Brennan Manning.

The Ragamuffin Gospel was perhaps one of his greatest works, and one that I have read over and over again. It’s impossible to read and come away unscathed.

His last book, “All Is Grace,” is not just a beautiful picture of his tortured story, living in the tension of the already and the not yet, but somehow paints the picture for all us of what it means to live by grace.

“But if I’ve learned anything about the world of grace, it’s that failure is always a chance for a do-over.” -Manning in All Is Grace

Part of why I’ve always been attracted to Brennan Manning, and why meeting him had such a profound impact on my life is because I’ve met and worked with hundreds of so-called celebrities.

I’ve worked with Usher, Jay-Z, John Legend, Babyface, The Roots, and even Stevie Wonder to name a few. And although they could be considered great in the world’s eyes, not a one could compare to the beauty of Brennan Manning.

I have loved reading many fellow authors’ rememberings of Brennan. This notion that a man could be so torn and tattered, full of depravity and yet overflowing with the knowledge of grace, speaks to my soul. The dichotomy that in one minute, Brennan, could be warm and inviting, and the next a cold, embittered soul, comforts my own trite wanderings.

But of one thing I’m sure, he’s experiencing some glorious grace now! I imagine him hearing the words, “well done,” by our Great Father. What a truly glorious thought!

I am a fellow wrestler, as Brennan was, and I’m sure you probably are too.

May we all continue to wrestle in grace following Brennan’s example, to finally end up knowing “All Is Grace.”

If you have any fond memories of either reading a Brennan Manning book or hearing him speak, I’d love to hear about them!

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Posted on: April 16, 2013

Attempting to define community.

Written by Josh Collins. Posted in Misc

I remember when I was in the sixth grade, listening to Pastor Doak Taylor, teach about being “balcony friends,” to one another.  It was wednesday night, and the room was packed with middle school and high schoolers.  I remember looking up behind me and slightly to left, imagining who that person was and how they would be smiling down at me.  

For a very long season that person was Adam Watson.  He was my best friend too.  Adam, myself, and several other guys quickly became thick as thieves, formed a band, and did all sorts of great stuff with one another.  

We held onto that circle for as long as we possibly could, but naturally of course, life eventually takes us all on our own unique journeys and each one of ours began to slowly go in different directions once we left for college.

What I know now, and didn’t know then is that we had community.


That’s right, that mystical word, that everyone wants, but no one quite knows how to get.  

Oh there are literally hundreds of books about it, and upon a quick google search, roughly 4 BILLION results on the subject.

But with such a wealth of information available, and so many resources out there, why do you think our thirst for it isn’t quenched?

Let’s put a pin in that one, and move on for time sake.

I admit, I may not be able to give a webster’s class definition of what community is, but let me tell you another story about what it looks like.

Recently, I was working on a production team, in Columbus, OH, for a cheerleading and dance competition.  It was one of the hardest and most difficult events I’ve ever worked in the past 15 years, but thats beside the point.  

The beauty lies in what I witnessed on one of those stages.

Saturday afternoon, I was running lights, and I just so happened to lock onto this cute, small-framed girl, no bigger than, Molly, my 8 year old.  Suddenly, she was hoisted on top of a pyramid and then somehow as fast as she was lifted up, she immediately fell to the ground.

Well, like any true competitor, she kept on going trying her best to ignore the pain and trauma, and keep the tears at bay.

The point of the story and in my opinion one of the most beautiful, gospel centered things I have ever seen, happened next.  

While standing in the corner of the mat, waiting for her turn to perform her tumbles, a teammate and friend, came over, obviously aware of what happened, immediately embraced and began to shake and rub her arms from behind, lifting her spirits.  From my side of the stage, I could read her lips,

“Its going to be ok, you’re ok, its going to be ok.”

I’m not sorry to say, I lost it.  Even as I recall this now, and am typing this post, my eyes well up.  What a beautiful picture The Father gave me in that moment.  

Because He also says to each and every one of us,

“Its going to be ok, you’re ok, its going to be ok.  I love you!”

Thats community.

Thats what we are called to be for one another.

Thats the picture of what it looks like to be a balcony friend.

I’ve heard my pastor also describe this kind of relationship as a “3 am” friend.  Someone you can call at 3 am and they will actually answer the phone.

Do you have one of those friends?

Better yet ARE you one of those friends?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Leave me some comments below!

Posted on: February 28, 2013

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Josh Collins
Franklin, TN
United States

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