Select Page

Developing Faithful Leadership for the Creative Mindset

A daily blog and the beginning of a new community.

 

Subscribe to the Daily Blog

Receive daily posts focused on helping you develop as a creative in a way that is faithful to your calling.

Please wait...

Welcome to the Order Chaos Club!

Weekly Digest

Weekly insights and encouragement from the Ordered Chaos Club!

Please wait...

<span style="color: #339966;">Welcome to the Ordered Chaos Club!</span>

As a Christian creative, I’m blessed with inspired ideas from God – but it’s a constant battle to focus amidst life’s chaos and make those divine visions a reality. The Ordered Chaos Club is where I’ll openly discuss developing the leadership mindset needed to steward my creative callings in a way that honors Him. We’ll explore all of this at the intersection of faith, family, leadership and art.

Join me as I share personal stories and biblical insights for overcoming the worries and distractions that hinder our creativity. Together, we’ll strive to bring heavenly order and redemption to the earthly chaos through the work of our hands and hearts for God’s glory.

– Pastor Fury

“Are You Creating Authentic Art or Just Feeding the Machine?”

I just finished watching American Fiction.

What a great film.

Watching that, while working with AI to turn a thoughtful blog post into a YouTube-esque catchy and quickly edited video, all on top of the amazing blog post that Seth Godin wrote on the TL;DR dilemma, made me reflect deeply.

The way Seth ended that post was a challenge to creators, and I would say that includes writers, to not get lost in the culture-satisfying machine that takes things that matter and turns them into just a bite. The culture draws and encourages people toward taking their stakes, the life that they fought hard through, and grinding it up to make little burger bites to feed the masses—to make little meatballs that would deface some wonderfully handcrafted pasta.

I’m no different. As a matter of fact, I may even be worse in the midst of this journey towards building this media company. Telling myself that I want to spend more and more time doing what I love—creating authentic art and telling stories—I spend more time finding shortcuts to produce. If my journey becomes a collection of shortcuts, the product is going to be TV dinners and microwave meals instead of aged and cured beef served with joy and a smile.

authentic art 2So, the question of life, the question of culture, the question of what to do with the work of your hands doesn’t come down to what your career title is. It doesn’t even come down to what you feel called to produce. But it does come down to who you want to be and who you are becoming.

It’s days like these, films like these, weeks like I’ve had, where I believe God is speaking to me—and now to you, any Christ-centered creatives out there—to not just take care with the soul of what we create, and to not only prevent our creations to be ground up and processed until there’s nothing left that resembles humanity. As vitally important as those are, they are not even the most important thing.

But the creative is one who pours themselves out into what they create, and as such, it’s dreadfully important that we care for our soul and be careful with whom we are becoming.

I need to remember this moment because more than any dream, any organization that I want to create, more than any future that I’m trying to build, my mind must stay focused on who I am becoming right now.

I don’t want my life to be another American Fiction.

Did you enjoy this episode? Check out yesterday’s post.

For more inspirational content check out FreedomStoryPodcastNetwork.com

Why Do We Need Help To Reach Our Full Potential?

The Need for Accountability

In recent years, I’ve come to realize that where I lack accountability, I soon exhibit a lack of discipline. It’s a sobering revelation, but I suspect I’m not alone in this experience. When I examine God’s commands for His people, I see a strong emphasis on unity and togetherness. Repeatedly, Scripture calls for people to operate not alone, but in pairs or groups intertwined.  

At one point, I believed this focus was solely about the joy of community or safeguarding against the enemy’s isolating work in our lives. While these are certainly true, I’ve come to understand an additional, vital aspect: the immense value of accountability. Living amongst fellow sojourners highlights areas where we might have deceived ourselves into thinking we’ve “arrived” as disciples. It’s easy to let discipline slip and stall our growth when you’re the only one evaluating your progress. The personal shortcuts and lies we tell ourselves are endless.

Discipleship Demands Discipline

Interestingly, the words “disciple” and “discipline” share the same Latin root, “discipulus,” meaning “student” or “learner.” This connection underscores an important truth: being a disciple inherently involves discipline. Therefore, the idea of an “undisciplined disciple” is an oxymoron. True discipleship requires ongoing training and self-control guided by accountability.

If you think there’s a point where you no longer need others to spur you on, to hold you accountable in order to grow as a disciple and maintain discipline, you’re deluding yourself. Even the world echoes this wisdom – observe the elites who have mastered their crafts. Tom Brady still has a quarterback coach. Boxing greats like Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali had trainers. Serena Williams and Tiger Woods also have coaches. It may seem strange that those at the highest levels still need training and accountability, but it’s their humility in recognizing this perpetual need that ensures their greatness. The arrogance to believe we can grow without accountability breeds the same pride that precedes a fall.

Embrace The Identity

As Paul compares in 1 Timothy 4:7-8, “Train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Just as no elite athlete still trains alone, let us too embrace our identity as disciplined disciples. Let us establish discipline around the creative crafts our Creator has entrusted to us, moving forward steadily each day toward increasing mastery. For as Hebrews 12:11 reminds, “All discipline seems painful at the moment, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” While challenging, profound and lasting rewards await those who persevere.   

This perpetual need for discipline in God’s word was part of my motivation for the Five by the Fire Podcast. I knew I needed to engage with Scripture daily and extract its truths to spur my own growth as a disciplined disciple. This desire also sparked the Ordered Chaos Club blog – though the Five by the Fire podcast has been reduced now to weekly episodes, the daily blog still keeps me grounded, reflecting on my creative journey while aiming to lead others to do the same. Yet I know there will be seasons when the momentum wanes and the consistent practice feels arduous rather than life-giving. In those times, the commitment of this accountability community will be invaluable, motivating me to persevere in the mutually beneficial work of diving into Scripture.

So I invite you: What is your creative craft, the work God has called you to produce? Discover it, then build discipline around it through the support of community accountability. Understand that like the elites, you never truly “arrive”, but the eternal impact you can have through remaining a disciplined disciple is immeasurable.

Did you enjoy this episode? Check out yesterday’s post.
For more inspirational content check out FreedomStoryPodcastNetwork.com

Are You Pursuing a Dream Worth Living For?

Over the past two months, I’ve grappled with the idea of launching my business. I dedicated my time to researching and preparing to establish a branding and marketing enterprise. In the midst of finalizing a 24-page graphically designed business plan, I awoke in the middle of the night, gripped by fear. It wasn’t the inevitable challenges of starting a business that unsettled me. Nor was it my lack of experience or my sometimes overly optimistic and unrealistic mindset. Instead, as I confronted the internal and external battles that lay ahead, I realized that I was preparing to face significant challenges for a business that I could do, but didn’t truly love.

While I find satisfaction in website development, graphic design, branding, and helping others shape their stories, my true passion lies in creating my own narratives. There are countless creative dreams I long to bring to life, and that is the driving force behind Freedom Story Media. While Freedom Story Brand Design could yield fulfillment for me and substantial benefits for nonprofits, it wouldn’t fulfill my deepest aspirations. As my next birthday approaches, less than a month away, I recognize that time is finite for all of us. If I’m going to confront formidable challenges and plunge headfirst into the entrepreneurial realm, I want to do so while pursuing the business I envisioned creating several years ago.

This brings me to a question we all must answer for ourselves each season and each day: It’s not…Will this life, this venture, this project bring challenges? Every worthwhile endeavor comes with its share of obstacles. The real question is: Which initiative is significant and vital enough to warrant facing those challenges?

Yesterday, I celebrated my daughter’s trip to the thrift store. At first glance, this might seem trivial. However, what you may not know is that, like many her age in this post-COVID world, she has grappled with anxiety that has prevented her from engaging in activities that my generation might consider normal or easy. At 19 years old, she struggles to do things without her mother or father. Yet, in preparation for a weekend with a friend for their birthday, she was determined to find the outfit she desired. For her, venturing out alone felt like an insurmountable challenge. When she realized that both my wife and I were occupied and couldn’t accompany her, she bravely faced the terror of going alone in pursuit of new clothes, even if they were simply “new to her.”

I found myself prouder of her for venturing out despite her trembling and tears than I was of the straight A’s she achieved throughout her entire second semester of college. She learned, as I hope we all do, that with the right motivation, we can accomplish the most daunting tasks. So, I ask you: Are you pursuing the dream that is worth living for? Are you following the calling that God has placed on your heart? Are you willing to put yourself out there, take risks, and make mistakes on your journey to achieve what only you were meant to achieve?

My deepest desire is that you are. Assisting you in pursuing that dream is a significant part of why the Ordered Chaos Club exists. It is for Christian creators and innovators like you. Let’s band together and create the future that we believe we were made for.

Did you enjoy this episode? Check out yesterday’s post.

For more inspirational content check out FreedomStoryPodcastNetwork.com

Developing Wealth as a Creative Christian?

For years, I’ve wrestled with ideas around wealth. Growing up in the church and around poverty, I learned that wealthy people were often portrayed as the corrupt villains – the enemies of Jesus. Even now, if I’m honest, there’s still a part of me that believes wealth is inherently bad. Every time I’ve seen Christians talk about here’s how to get wealthy….here’s how to get rich… it has always just made me cringe.

But then I’m reminded of the Parable of the Talents in the Bible. While Jesus preaches on the difficulty for the rich to enter heaven, he also shares a story that challenges my perspective. A master entrusts his servants with money (talents/minas) while away. Upon return, he praises the servants who invested and multiplied the funds, but calls the servant who merely protected the original sum “wicked” for not being generative.

 

Jesus didn’t just say, ‘I wish you had done more, better luck next time.’ He said, ‘Wicked servant.’

The Link Between Generous and Generative

Lately, I’ve been struck by how the words “generous” and “generative” share the same origin. With my heart for the vulnerable, I’m often confronted with needs beyond my ability to help through simple generosity alone. Constantly asking others for money seems to fall on deaf ears.

But what if, just as I desire to be more generous, I also intentionally pursued being more generative? What if I seriously invested the “talents” I’ve been given, like the faithful servants, to generate increased wealth? Not from greed, but to multiply my ability to bless and care for others in need.

As I type this, it may sound like a delusional justification. But could it be the Enemy whispering lies, knowing that if someone with a heart for God’s people like me became a creator of wealth, many could be seriously blessed?

The Creative’s Call to Generative Wealth

For years, I’ve ended videos with “be blessed and be a blessing.” But I never really considered the “be blessed” part requiring action – actively working to increase my own blessing so I could be an exponentially greater blessing.

As a creative, I’m realizing this means I need to create. It’s in exercising my gift of creativity that I’ll find the answer to taking what I’ve been given and becoming generative with it. Developing creativity is how the chaos can be transformed into something beautiful that blesses me and, by extension, countless others.

It’s time to get to work on unlocking generativity as a creative Christian. To invest the talents we’ve received in a way that multiplies provisions for powerful gospel impact.  An impact rooted in both generosity and generativity.

 

Enjoyed today’s blog? You’ll love yesterday’s post.

Want to enjoy other inspiring content? FreedomStoryPodcastNetwork.com

What’s the Secret to Balancing Work, Passion Projects, and Rest?

As a Christian creative, ensuring I get at least a day of rest is crucial for renewing my mind and spirit. But I also need to take purposeful breaks throughout the day and week to allow my brain to recharge. My day job often demands more creative thought than I’d like, leaving me mentally exhausted when I finally have time to focus on my passion projects.

To navigate this, I’ve started prioritizing my passion-filled creative work earlier in the day when my energy levels are highest. When things go well, I get up early enough to dedicate at least an hour to the work I truly love. Each day feels like a high-stakes poker game, where I’m constantly deciding when to conserve my creative chips and when to go “all in.” It’s a delicate negotiation with my body and mind, evaluating the risks and rewards of expending my limited energy reserves on various projects. I’d rather fold a small creative hand than recklessly go all in on work that doesn’t align with my passions.

This ongoing balancing act has me seeking a career path where I can live with passion and creativity at full tilt. Here’s how I’m finding equilibrium and ensuring that both rest and creative passion have their rightful place in my life:

The Importance of Rest and Rhythms

– Rest rejuvenates the mind, body, and spirit, allowing for sustained creativity and preventing burnout.

– Establishing daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms ensures regular breaks and creates space for creative renewal.

– Embracing the biblical principle of Sabbath rest provides a sacred time for rejuvenation and spiritual nourishment.

Prioritizing Passion Projects

– Allocating time for creative work in the morning when mental energy is highest and distractions are minimal.

– Recognizing that focused, purposeful bursts of creative work can often be more effective than long, exhausted efforts.

– Protecting this sacred creative time as a non-negotiable priority.

Balancing Day Job and Passion 

– Understanding that each hour is a decision point: when to conserve energy for passion projects and when to risk it on work obligations.

– Seeking a career path that aligns more closely with personal passions to maintain creative energy and fulfillment.

By focusing on mindful rest, establishing purposeful rhythms, and strategically “playing” your creative energy like chips in a poker game, you can achieve a more fulfilling and sustainable balance between your work obligations and your passion projects.

What are some of your strategies for navigating exhaustion and creativity to prevent burnout while staying true to your calling as a creative child of God?

Enjoy this? Check out yesterday’s post.

 

Is Overthinking and Over-Planning Sabotaging My Creativity?

Yesterday I heard something that shook me to my core. It was a conversation about overthinking – something I tend to do constantly. They discussed how overthinking is really just an expression of our fears, rather than the productive “planning for every situation” I’ve always rationalized it as. As I reflect, I see scenarios in my life where I’ve spent months meticulously planning, only for those initiatives to never actually launch.

The truth is, if I’m still just planning a few months in, without taking any concrete first steps, it becomes exponentially less likely that I’ll ever begin. I used to think I was simply refining the plan, adjusting for timing. But something someone said this week rings truer: Staying stuck in the preparation process is a safe hiding place. It’s where your vision can remain flawless and untarnished because it exists solely in your mind’s eye, or a written out plan at best.

Deep down, you know eventually, that plan needs to face the real world’s chaos. And in that treacherous moment, it has an increasing likelihood of failing to match your perfect imagination. Hearing this idea vocalized hit me like a ton of bricks. It was as if someone had cracked open my personal diary, reading back my unspoken insecurities in stark new language.

In that moment, the cape fell off. I could no longer pretend to be a super-creative, but rather a mere Clark Kent – afraid to truly fly, despite the vast array of intricate flight plans. The same fertile creative mind that births my ideas paradoxically becomes their deathbed too. Just as Superman’s home planet Krypton gifted his powers yet created kryptonite his greatest weakness, my imagination is both a blessing and a danger zone for my creativity.

We creatives must realize – we were made for risk, not hiding away in planning’s “safe place.” In the same way, children must eventually leave home to experience life’s beauty, our ideas must escape our heads to impact the world they were destined to shape. So let’s step into the danger. It’s time to create.

 

Enjoy this? Share it with a friend. Also, check out yeterday’s post for more.

Will A.I. Destroy or Enhance my Creativity?

Meet My A.I. Staff:

Since Easter of last year, I have been fascinated by what AI and the engine of ChatGPT can produce. I remember testing it out on Easter 2023 just to see what it could do in writing a sermon. And I was blown away, to say the least.

Recently, as I have been increasing my content creation across multiple channels, I have turned to ChatGPT and Claude AI to help me speed up the creation process. Generally speaking, I ask them to help with spell checks and grammatical mistakes. Every once in a while, I will feed them scripts or website copy to rewrite with any recommended improvements. Well, today I felt like I needed to introduce you all to this staff that helps me produce some of this blog’s engaging and inspiring work in the hopes that you can determine to what level you could engage with similar tools or not for your own creative endeavors.

Case study:

Planning out this blog, from the title— which was almost called “The Creative Renaissance”—to ideas for the first podcast episode, which will focus on reasons why we fail to launch new initiatives, I have a wonderfully collaborative approach to working with both ChatGPT and Claude. Starting with an idea that inspires me, I then I’ll go to ChatGPT to test out the viability of that idea. I will ask for feedback, inquire about places where that idea could be improved, and reasons why it may not be the best. I have found that ChatGPT is not very creative but can definitely be informative.

Now, when I look for more creative approaches to the information that I have collaborated with ChatGPT on, then I will turn to Claude, the more creative of the pair. I will ask Claude to take this idea or content to the next level. We’ve worked together on writing copy for flyers, the bio for this blog, and even a cover letter for a job I was considering applying for. Claude’s ability to synthesize information and develop creative results continues to inspire me.

Application:

Why am I sharing this today? Well… As I sat with my cup of coffee, staring at the morning sky, after sharing some devotional content on my Pastor Fury channels, I reflected on the heart behind the content I share… And there was a renewal. I desire to ensure that my content continues to be filtered through my heart and soul before I let any machine touch it.

In this world of automation and artificial effectiveness, I hope we don’t lose sight of what is at the core of communication. Communication is not just information sharing, but it is connecting one to another. The heart, the soul behind each and every ounce of communication is where the true impact lies. I was reminded today that part of leading my creativity is ensuring that I don’t lose it to the machine. And now, time to let ChatGPT spell-check this post. Lol!

Enjoy that? Share it with a friend and maybe check out yesterday’s post.

How Do I Know If I’m Settling for Less Than I’m Capable Of?

Standing on a heap of grass jutting out like the tip of Florida in the middle of the little lake at Independence Grove, I witnessed an exercise in bravery and inspirational independence. I marveled at a loud, cackling group of red-winged blackbirds feverishly moving in unison from tree to tree. I wasn’t sure if they were playing, fighting, or perhaps just having a lively debate.

But whatever they were doing, they were loud and united. My first thought was in celebration of the unity of that moment, then the next moment struck me as I saw one bird flying outside of that group. It quickly soared past me, a streak of black across the morning blue sky, and continued soaring higher and higher. It was powerful as I looked up to see a plane a few thousand feet higher, soaring in a similar path. I couldn’t help but think this bird may have believed something different about who he was. While there is beauty in being part of the crowd, and strength in the important unity of being together, there is also something inspirational about seeing and believing something greater about who you can be.

I had the thought for a moment that maybe… Just maybe, this bird thought he could fly higher and wanted to test the limits of his wings. The Icarus analogy isn’t lost on me in this, but it is birds like that, leaders like that, who build the bold and brave futures that the cackling crowd gets to enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with being in the crowd. In fact, there’s a sense in which this club is a similar crowd.

But what if you were built to fly higher?

Don’t be afraid to soar differently.

Did you enjoy the episode? Check out yesterday’s post.

How Can the Stories We Remember Change Us

Have you ever considered how the stories you tell yourself about your past experiences shape who you are today? In a chapter of his book “The Artisan Soul”, Erwin Raphael McManus explores the powerful difference between our experienced self and our remembered self.

The truth is, our lives are not defined by the actual events we’ve lived through, but by the narratives we construct around them. It’s the story we tell ourselves, the meaning we assign to the experiences, that ultimately forms our sense of identity. Chewing on this idea gives me pause. As I reflect, I can’t help but wonder – what self-limiting tales have I been unconsciously telling myself? How have the narratives rattling around in my head sculpted my perceived capabilities and potential?

In chewing on this concept, I imagine rewriting those poorly constructed narratives from my past. Taking an eraser to the self-doubting stories, and re-penning empowering tales of resilience, possibility and hard-won wisdom. It wouldn’t alter the factual events, but it could radically transform my remembered self – the core essence of who I believe myself to be. And in redefining my remembered identity, my whole approach to life could shift as well.

As creatives, we deal in narrative crafting daily. Breathing life into new tales through our art and work. So if anyone has the authority to re-author their own life stories, it’s us. So let me give you permission: you are empowered to pick up that pen and rewrite your remembered self, remembering the powerlessness differently, the tragedy differently, the pain and impact of loss differently. You can’t change the past but you can be a part of changing how the past changes you. An ever-emerging work of art, continually revised and refined.
Happy re-writing your story.

Did you enjoy the episode? Check out yesterday’s post.

Here We Go

Well, here we are.

Day one of this daily blogging journey. You can anticipate a mix of insightful, humorous, and random posts here. Once I launch the podcast, you will experience more of the same but in longer format.

Some days when I create a youtube short here and there, I’ll try and include those but your best bet if you want most mostly video is to follow me on my new youtube channel: Youtube.com/@yourdigitalmediamentor.

Enjoy today’s brief Youtube Short below and see ya tomorrow.

Peace.