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Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

Is Failure a Reflection of Who You Are?

This week, the blog lost its first subscriber.

If I’m going to be honest, that’s disappointing, especially since it hasn’t been in existence that very long.
When I checked in on the subscriber list and I saw that lonely number one next to the amount of unsubscribers, it made me feel a certain kind of way.

It was tapping into the people pleaser in me, the insecure me, and the version of me that wants to create something that every person that engages with it will passionately love.
The reality is, with every single creation, there’s essentially a handful of different responses. There’s variations of yes, variations of no. And then variations of wow. And of course, we’re going for the wows. But what happens when you get the no’s?
It definitely goes in my box that seems to continually be growing called failures. And here’s the truth that I think we all need to hold on to today.
Failures that remain in your box can be lessons that you learn from. You can choose to pick up the box and open it and educate yourself with its contents in the same way that people would use a textbook.
However, if failure becomes a coat or a badge of sorts, it becomes something that you walk around with, that you carry as a part of who you are. And that is an unhealthy place.
Failure should never be received as a scarlet letter or a personal identifier, but simply an event. And the beauty is we can learn from events. We can grow from events. We can’t learn and grow from parts of who we are.

 

So it’s important that we keep failure in an educational box and not in that wonderful little transparent part of our wallet that holds the ID. Failure is not who we are.

Don’t do the work of the enemy and receive failure as an internal reality. It is through internalizing failure that we end up doing the worst service of all to ourselves: Extinguishing hope.
Christ-centered creatives, we must recognize our hope is in Christ. That any failures are not personal, are not permanent, and are not pervasive. And if each of those are not true, failure is something that we can learn and recover from.

But the moment it becomes personal, we believe the failure to be who we are. The moment it becomes permanent, we believe this failure to be something that we can never change. And the moment it becomes pervasive. We believe that every aspect of our reality is a failure.

So no matter if the failure you’ve experienced is losing a subscriber, finding someone giving you a “no” to your creation, losing a huge client in your business, or finding that your business needs to close…

Remember this, it’s not personal. It doesn’t reflect on who you are at your core.
It’s not permanent. This is something that there is hope for change. Things that have ended can be reborn. You can grow beyond this.
And it’s not pervasive. This is verifiably a singular event.

As you continue to learn and grow, you can be sure that there will be other places where you fail. But don’t ever receive the lie that you are a failure.
And hey, an appropriate response to this could be to subscribe to the blog LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t help it with the shameless plug.

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Creating Family Space

Creating Family Space

Joyous shouts.
Brisk wind blowing in the 70-degree air.

Smiles and a pair of spinning wheels attached to a long pair of handlebars. This is the scene on this Wednesday evening, the day prior to my birthday, sitting outside while my son, Matteo enjoys his scooter. It’s the simple beauty of moments like this that I don’t stop and absorb enough.
I spend so much time and energy being a content creator of all kinds. I create podcasts, blogs, websites, films, and songs. But what I feel like God has been calling me to this year is not content creation as much as creating space.

The understanding of creating space has always been something that I’ve struggled with. Because where I see space, it’s something that I just fill up with other things that help me move the ball further down the field. Usually, when I think about creating space, I’m thinking about giving myself margin, allowing space to rest, just like you leave space on the edges of a piece of paper as you’re writing. That is the same thing that God encourages us to do with our lives – create space on the edges and not live everything up to that line.
But even more than that, this year God’s made it clear that I need to create space not just for rest but space for family. Now I have a certain amount of time set aside in my calendar to make sure that I am present with my family. But the truth is, even in those times that I’m present, there’s still so much of my mind that isn’t present. That is off mentally creating, doing the next project in my head, thinking about the next blog, thinking about the next podcast episode.

I was watching something this past week about Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns and the way that he’s been trying to prepare, I think, to start the season. And they said something that I had not thought about. One of the reporters reflected on being impressed about the way Deshaun is taking mental reps with the first team. That means that he’s not out there throwing passes and getting actual practice going, but he’s thinking through the process as they’re doing this whole simulated play.
And that makes me think, while I’m getting time, creating space for my family, how much of that time am I spending taking mental reps for the other things that I know I want to accomplish? While I’m sitting here with my son, even right now, I’m recording this blog. While I sit on the couch and watch a show with my daughter, sometimes I’ll be thinking through the next episode, taking mental reps of what I’ll record next.

I don’t think that I’m alone in this issue, especially amongst fellow Christian creatives. When you marry purpose with creativity, it oftentimes feels like a constant barrage of creative thoughts moving things forward towards that purpose. That’s the chaos that I often recognize in my mind, which is crying out for God to bring order.
And this, I believe, is a part of how God is wanting to bring order in mine and in your mind. Through creating space, not just physically, but mentally.

Are you giving your mind space to rest, space to engage truly and intentionally with those that you care about? Space to focus on your relationship with God? Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t just sit in the room. Don’t just do the thing, but ensure you create mental and physical space to do and be all that God’s called you to be today.

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Do You Have the Courage to Create or Just the Vision?

Do You Have the Courage to Create or Just the Vision?

Have you ever had a day that hit you so fast and so hard that you never really had time to slow down and feel the blow? Well today was one of those days for me. And as I write this, it is 10:30 in the evening, and I’m just arriving home after three hours of serving a sister in Christ who needed help moving into her new apartment.

It was challenging, but it was beautiful to see our gathering of Christ-centered creatives, known as Beats, Bars, and Bible, take a pause on our normal weekly Bible study and instead engage in Bible practice.

I’m not quite sure what the impetus is for today’s blog, but I know this. It’s easy for us creatives to be the idea guy or the creative gal who dreams it up, puts it on paper, and imagines the new world. In a lot of respects, those visionaries are what this world absolutely needs to be better than it is. But at the same time, we as creatives must also decide to actually create.

Tonight, we didn’t just think about and dream about serving and loving one another in the body of Christ. We created that act of service. We put the word of God into practice. Now, I wish I could say that I do that on a daily basis and consistently. But I know that I don’t. However, it is my aim to increasingly make that a reality as the Lord gives me recognition of the opportunities that I need to step into.

As Christians and as Christ-centered creatives, we have not only the vision of the divine moments that we often are called into, but we have the Spirit of God who, if we seek Him and ask Him for it, He will also give us the ingredients that truly help change the world. Not just vision, but courage and the commitment to create.

 

I’ll see you guys tomorrow.

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Goal Setting or Go Getting?

Goal Setting or Go Getting?

Goal Setting vs. Go-Getting: Moving from Vision to Action

There are seasons in life where I find myself immersed in planning, vision boarding, and goal setting. However, often that is where the experience ends. Goals are set, then reset, and then reset again, without enough focused energy being spent on actually achieving them. We all know the saying, “If you don’t aim, you are more than likely to miss your target.” But the truth is, if you never pull the trigger, you won’t hit the target either.

This is where fear can sneak in. If I never pull the trigger, then while I never hit the target, I also don’t miss. This fear of failure can be paralyzing. However, we must determine today to be individuals who not only set goals but also go after them. We must aim and remember to pull the trigger. Shots taken and missed are better than the countless shots never taken at all.

Primary Goals Until Labor Day

🗓 By July 1

  • Identify Beta Testers and Content Creators: Find individuals for the beta testing phase and potential content creators for the soon-to-be-launched Christ-centered creative community, the Ordered Chaos Club.

🗓 By August 1

  • Release the “No Turning Back” Documentary: Finalize and release the long-awaited documentary that has been in the works.

🗓 By Labor Day

  • Launch Phase 1 of the Ordered Chaos Club: Introduce the basic membership tier, including resources, chat rooms, monthly mindset meetings, and a free mini-course on growing as a Christ-centered creative.

What are your goals? What Kingdom hills are you taking on with Jesus?

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Are You Putting Your God-Given Creative Ideas Into Action?

Are You Putting Your God-Given Creative Ideas Into Action?

Yesterday, on a walk around the block after a long day, I was mentally preparing for another creative session on my documentary passion project. I began to reminisce about my early days volunteering in children’s ministry.

Back then, I would often miss the Sunday sermon because I was serving during that time. My only way to catch the message was through the church’s podcast. However, the podcast upload was frequently delayed, leaving me behind and disconnected from the week’s teaching.

Frustrated, I approached the pastor one day and asked, “What’s the deal with the podcast? I serve in the kids’ ministry, and it’s often not uploaded on time. I’m missing out.” His response was brilliant and has stuck with me ever since.

With a thoughtful nod, he replied, “Huh, well, I mean, would you want to help with that? Is that something you think you could help make happen?”

In that moment, the pastor didn’t make excuses or promises. Instead, he recognized the creative mindset God had blessed me with and empowered me to be part of the solution. Honestly, it probably had more to do with his wisdom in understanding that a complaint is simply someone recognizing a problem, which puts them at the front of the line to be a part of a solution.

You see, far too often, we voice our ideas and concerns to authority figures, hoping they’ll implement the changes we desire. But the truth is, when God burdens your heart with an idea or a creative vision, He’s likely also commanding your hands to bring it to life.

As Christian creatives, we’re called not just to conceive ideas but to nurture them, shape them, and ultimately birth them into reality through hard work and perseverance. Our creative minds are gifts from God, meant to be exercised and put into action for His glory.

So, if you find yourself frustrated by a lack of creative opportunities or missing elements in your church, community, or sphere of influence, don’t just voice your concerns – roll up your sleeves and get to work. Volunteer your time and talents, collaborate with like-minded individuals, and take the initiative to turn your God-given ideas into tangible solutions.

Remember, when God plants a creative seed in your heart, He’s not often expecting someone else to water and cultivate it until it’s a tree of life offering shade to the world. He’s often calling you, His creative child, to nurture that seed with your own hands, watch it grow, and bear fruit that will bless and inspire others.

As I continue editing my documentary, a project born from a burden on my heart, I’m reminded of the power we possess as Christian creatives. We’re not just dreamers; we’re doers, empowered by the Creator Himself to shape the world around us through our unique gifts and visions.

So, what God-given idea is stirring in your soul? Don’t wait for someone else to bring it to life. Embrace the reality that if God put the burden on your heart, he likely has placed the command on your hands. So get to work, and watch as your obedience and creativity collide to birth something beautiful for the Kingdom.

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