Monthly Archives: September 2011

winning in overtime is even sweeter… and applies to you.

it is always wonderful to win. but it’s even sweeter and more intense when you have to go into overtime… in the case of the beech bucs freshman team, double overtime.

what i learned from the beech bucs tonite:

work hard without stopping – these boys fought, hard, for every yard they got.

rejoice in the victories – they lept, they hugged, they slapped each other on the back (and on the butt).

bring others into your joy – they raised their hands to the crowd asking for applause

do you do this in your ministry? or in  your art? or in your life?

have you worked hard without stopping?

ministry: seeking those who haven’t yet found Jesus…

art: finding the idea that hasn’t been fleshed out yet…

life: invested in the relationships that will change and enrich your life.

have you rejoiced in the victories?

ministry: sharing those who answer the call of Christ…

art: celebrated the design that defines your style…

life: told the ones you love you love them so many times they can’t help but believe you?

have you brought others into your joy? 

ministry: shared the stories of those you introduce to the God of the universe

art: shown the things that you have been giving by the Creator, to create, to others

life: rejoiced out loud about what good you have experienced and seen up close and personal.

if you have… tell me how? i’m curious to hear you share the joy of your salvation.


i thought of you today… and the other day, too.

i love this. so much.

you know. i love things that show that someone thought of me before the moment that they saw me.

when you receive a monogrammed gift – you know that they had to plan ahead to give it to you at that time.

you dont just run across pre-personalized stuff that says “ROBYN (with a Y, thank you very much) BLAIKIE COLLINS”.

it just doesnt happen. so when someone gives me something with my name on it, spelled correctly – i know they thought of me twice (at least). once when they special ordered it, and then again when they gave it to me.

i was cleaning out some stuff last night and found some stationery that my best friend gave me several  years ago.

let me ask you – what has someone done for you that made you know they thought of you more than once.

doesnt that make you feel so special?

you know God thinks about you allllll the time? all the time. he thinks about before, during and after of every second of your life. you have been monogrammed by him.

what can you do today to give God a monogrammed something tomorrow?

i just want you to know – whoever is reading – i’ve been thinking about you alot. wanting only to tell you things worth your time and mine to share…

(inspiration for this thought: i went to a trade show today of promotional and personalizable items – because my friend Neal Palmer thought of me, invited me a month ago, and there was a calendar waiting for me with our church name already on it. BOOM! )

ted dekker, kyle cooper and some new lenses

I’m back from the STORY 11 conference.

I return to my life with a new set of lenses through which to view things. a few new friends. And a grateful heart. And a little bit of disappointment.

a grateful heart: 

I’m not sure if this came from a specific speaker or if it was a revelation that God gave to me – i dont have anything in my notes that exactly replicates this thought – but it very clearly is a message i received …

attaining the dream is not necessarily about an end point. the dream is lived out in the process. 

in wanting to write a book – living the dream is the writing that you do in the process.

in wanting to design a compelling brand or image – it is the time you spend researching and manipulating colors and shapes, changing layouts and fonts, copy and catchphrases in which you see the dream unfold. 

in wanting to become a speaker to thousands – it is the thousand conversations that connect you to people that are a fulfillment of that dream.

with that in mind it can safely be said that we are all currently living said dream-if we participating  in our field of choice. notice that you have to be participating.

with a heart towards creativity of different manifestations, it is each stroke of the keyboard or paintbrush that allows me to be participating in the fulfillment of my dreams. it is with content and intention toward all things worthy of god that allows my dream to say aligned with his plans… giving the fruition of my dreams an eternal quality that the world would only dream of. friends … do you realize the power we have as creative stewards of an eternal story? and the promise that it will not return void. i daresay that it is a lofty and humbling privilege to be entrusted with communicating the story of life.

new lenses:

Ted Dekker and Kyle Cooper, unbeknownst to them, i’m sure, had a common message – and one followed the other, so I take that as something God wants us to hear.

they both are accused of working primarily with darkness, but made the very clear point that the world IS dark… that’s how we show the light.

takeaway – don’t sugarcoat the evil that is in the world. don’t pretend that it does not exist. don’t mask the blackness with shades of gray (ted dekker synopsis). he says that when he writes about a heroin overdose you will read about the vomiting and the horrific-ness – in order to see the magnitude of redemption and freedom. essentially – be authentic in all things. only authentic, true work will be held and valued.

to be very clear… there was NO DISAPPOINTMENT WHATSOEVER IN STORY 11… 

to get the disappointment out of the way i will just share this:  I did have experiences with kindness and  sharing of stories and ideas, though interestingly, not so much with fellow creatives, but with those who were more entrepreneurial, or business minded and who deal in the machinations of ministry and are in the trenches of ministry with actual students. (so nice to meet you matt, james and paul), and some architects …

we are responsible to be love and to show love… how can we communicate this artistically if we don’t demonstrate it on a face to face level? (talking to myself as well) i pray that my art never gets in the way of my kindness. i pray that my insecurities never prevent me from showing myself. i pray that i will share the creativity that has been entrusted to me, as much as i possibly can.

… fellow artists, if someone asks you what you do for  a living, shows an interest in your life and gives kindness… it is an awesome thing to give it back… when you don’t it shows your personal insecurity or else your personal unkindness (i’d prefer to think it’s your insecurity and not just pure unkindness). i was truly chagrined to find myself in this situation repeatedly.

i will definitely plan to attend STORY 12… as I have learned some priceless lesson from god-honoring, excellent teachers and creative professionals. but next time, i’m bringing friends. ( couldn’t have been happier to run into matt mckee at the lifeway kiosk!!)


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wow. so, here’s the story…

a couple of weeks ago i found out that i would get to come to the story conference in chicago. and now i’m here.

i’m so grateful for the opportunity… i even got to stay with a friend from high school that i havent seen since. (bonus) and meet her family.

thought i would give a brief synopsis and give the gyst of the amazing things i heard today:

ed dobson: was diagnosed with ALS, has lived for years, and is now telling the story of what he has learned through the chrystalization.

bottom line: the truth is, we don’t control squat. when you are worried about the future, it’s hard to find God, but if you live in the moment, he’s right there with you.

tom ryan: this is not just crowdsourcing, this is a community of artists. finding ideas that would otherwise never see the light of day.

esther havens: they were beautiful. i wanted to show their dignity, and that they were beautiful to Christ.

sean astin: be willing to fail, and dont compromise your message or your art. artists thrive when they feel like they can make a difference?

bethany hoang: we must rescue the salves. impact law enforcement and they will be held accountable. ( i think i want to help them figure out how to tell this story to kids)

ted dekker: i show the darkness because that’s how i show the light. the world is dark. jesus was s dark man. evil is real.  this talk inspired me to consider the themes of our sunday morning worship… and everything else for that matter. i’m not sure how this is going to manifest itself yet, in my work, but i know that it will.

kyle cooper: 1-if you dont use your artistic talent you will regret it for your entire life. 2-everything you do, do with all your might. 3 – the only thing you have is what you get away! unless the audience undrestands me, they aren’t involved enough.

then amazing dinner with new friends.

this is just the highlights… cant wait to break it down somemore.

everybody’s got a story

this week i was thrilled to spend a 3 hour lunch learning someone’s story… our time together was treasured. tami, so glad we are friends.

every week i work at long hollow trying to find the most effective ways to help kids understand their personal story, and the way they fit into the eternal story of Christ.

next week i’m going to a STORY conference.

my friend, mike hurst, wrote a song for me (well for the LH KIDZ at my behest) EVERYBODY’s GOT A STORY. (working on getting a download option for you… you are going to love it. i know it do!!)

are you detecting a theme? tell me no stories… i’ll tell you no lies.

the song that mike wrote stemmed from a conversation we were having about love. my team had been talking about how we wanted to focus on LOVING the kids at long hollow. we want to have an atmosphere of LOVE. people have hard lives, kids are not immune to this, in fact, many times, kids get the brunt of it because they pay the price for adult choices. but you know what, that’s part of their story. part of the fabric of their lives… and how they fit into the savior’s plan for them.

(the song was to be a sort of cats in the cradle type thing pointing out that even though you think things are ok on the surface… everybody’s got a story, and if you knew them you’d be kinder to them)

we want the adults that are interacting with the kids to understand and realize that these are people with pain, and joy. some have lost a pet, some have a parent that has died or abandoned them, some are being bullied every day at school and no one knows. we want to show love, because we have been loved. we want to learn what is going on  with each kid. to this end… we changed our entire structure on sunday mornings. we took a huge leap of faith, that we would have leaders to meet the need we supposed was coming. we made it our mission that every kid at long hollow would have a person that knows their story. who they are. who the people are in their lives. what is causing them joy, what is causing them pain… we want them to know they are loved…

and here is why.

when they know that they are loved here on earth… it is easier to believe that they are loved by someone that they cannot see.

we are ambassadors, and do not take it lightly. and it’s all part of our personal story.

do you want your story to be something morbid like BLACK SWAN? or do you want to be victorious and overcome obstacles like ROCKY?

i would love for you to tell YOURstory on a new website. you will find the link here:

and then I want you to listen to other stories. find out what people are going through. and love them. because you are loved.


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need more cowbell?

went to Guitar Center this weekend i had the magical experience of meandering through guitar center in nashville.

quint and i went to this magnificent place on friday to look for some sheet music. loved being with quint. loved being there.

while browsing the keyboards we met a musician moonlighting as a sales guy… he used his years of wisdom and experience to guide our decision making – i love it when that happens.

we couldn’t get back fast enough and returned on monday to start the process of following his direction.

when your creativity runs dry or your mind is tired…  i would suggest a trip to a place that will touch so many of your senses.

sights – colors and shapes that will delight

smells – there is a starving artist smell… and you will encounter it there

sounds – too many to even share. do your heart soul and self a favor.

go see my friend Jeff Sturms at Guitar Center.





the gospel of “you got to c’mon!”

just had a staff retreat… this song was written to honor our pastor, david landrith.

it tells a story of our pastor, our retreat, and our church.

when david landrith agrees with something he often shouts “C’MON”

when david landrith wants to see people take action he often shouts ” you got to c’mon!”

the speakers our pastor assembled to encourage us at our recent staff retreat all had a message for us that was similar to “C’MON”

gene mims challenged us to c’mon and remember the call… it’s what keeps you were God has placed you.

pete wilson encouraged us to c’mon and leave fear behind. he told us to be transformational leaders we would have to trust with God-sized obedience, not me-sized solutions.

tami heim showed us we had to c’mon and get digital with it … and now. she shared some amazing truths about the next generation and showed us how to communicate effectively with our people using social media.

jay strack rocked our world ten ways to sunday with facts about the future generation and inspired us to c’mon and get involved with the solutions to a godless future generation.  “The church has spent all its time teaching people what to think, we need to teach then how to think.”

mark marshall and his (and i quote)  “smokin’ hot wife” told us to c’mon and stand up for our families. c’mon and protect our kids and their love for the church. c’mon and love each other.


here’s the thing. our pastor pushes us to c’mon, then makes sure we are equipped for the task. so grateful for that.

we are told to surround ourselves with leaders… and then we are given leaders to serve with.

our message is eternal and our opportunities to share it are endless.

we are given what is needed… now it’s time to C’MON.