Tag Archive | Writing

A Different Kind of Hustle


Hustle. To me it’s a word that has always meant to hurry. My dad (ever the sports coach) would always tell me I need to hustle. It meant I needed hurry up and get whatever I wasn’t doing at the moment done.

Lately I’ve seen the word hustle showing up in social media, books, and blogs. The point of all these posts is to help the full time employee (most of us) get over the hump and finally write that book/finish that project/accomplish that dream that we’ve always been wanting to finish. What’s needed, we’re told, is not a new trick, but more hustle.

This type of hustle isn’t always working faster like my dad use to tell me. This hustle is working hard to bust past the opposition that life undoubtedly throws at us. Learn to work a little bit harder, get up a little bit earlier when there are no distractions, watch less TV, and focus on those projects that no one knows about but you. The gospel of hustle is that hard work and focus will accomplish what your current pace could not.


An example of the kind of hustle you hear a lot about these day.

So, lately, as I’ve been looking at my life and thinking about trying to cross off some things the Lord has been asking me to do, I’ve been tempted to take the hustle approach. Some of the productivity approaches of others have made their way into my routine.  And as someone who is a son of God, a husband and father, a church planter, a full-time employee, and is trying to write a book* and blog posts, there is a lot to get done. Hustle has a lot of appeal.

The problem with hustle, at least for me, is that its costly. For me hustle causes me to focus on tasks instead of people in my life. The first place that typically shows up is my relationship with God. Hudson Taylor wrote “Do not work so hard for Christ that you have no strength to pray, for prayer requires strength.” So when I’m burning the candle at both ends, inevitably my prayer life suffers.

From there, I become more focused on tasks and marking off lists. I get so preoccupied with “Getting Things Done” that I do it at the expense of the people I try to get things done for. And while I help people in the process, Paul tells me if I can do all things but don’t have love in my heart for them, my works are pretty much useless.

One more problem with hustle: It’s typically presented in a selfish manner. It’s what you need to get done to find your fulfillment. Get your book written. Water that part time gig you’re doing on the side (the side-hustle) ’til it becomes full-time.  Find fulfillment in what you can do for you. This makes others’ needs that pop up (at least in my mind) obstacles to my fulfillment.

But Christ told us the way to find our life was to lay it down.

So, I want to propose a different kind of hustle. This hustle is where you put Christ above everything else. We give Him the ability to set the agenda. We practice love where we lay down our life for others. It sets others’ needs above our agendas. It trusts in God’s work that happens when we sleep and because of this, we can rest (Mark 4:26-28). It’s a hustle that relies first on prayer, then on doing what we can, when we can.

It doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t work hard. You may still get up a little earlier and work to stay more organized than you are. Productivity hacks will have their place. They just won’t be the Lord of your life.

You will probably get your pet projects done slower. Things that seem like a priority to almost everyone else may take a back seat.  In many ways, people will think that you aren’t working as hard as you can. The hardest part of this kind of hustle is that it will look unproductive to those around you and, truth-be-told, maybe even to you.

But that’s what we’re called to: an upside down kingdom where we look like we’re in last place. It’s the kind of hustle that will be rewarded in the future for putting ourselves last. It’s gold that will last through fires of persecution and hardship, because it’s fueled by love and faith in God, not in loving and trusting ourselves.

It’s a different kind of hustle.

*Yes, if you’ve carefully read this post, you’ve noted I am currently writing a small book/e-book. I hope to have a rough draft by the end of the year and get through editing and packaging the book sometime next year. More on that in a later post.

Photo Credit:

Running Shoes by Josiah Mackenzie

Dang, @greatdiscontent. I need to hustle up some hustle.
by thesaradarling



I’m Not Dead


To quote Monty Python, “I’m not dead yet.”

Or, in other words, I still intend to post to this blog.  Actually someone that I love and respect came to me a few weeks ago and shared a dream with me that I’m supposed to keep writing.  A few weeks before that I had a trusted prophetic voice sharing a vision of me doing more video blogs. (Not vlogs. For whatever reason I find that term disgusting.)


On top of that, I feel like I’m supposed to be doing more reading this year (I’m shooting for 17 books…we’ll see how that goes) and whenever I read more I end up posting more.  Also, I’ve been using twitter for a lot of my shorter content, but I’m finding that it doesn’t have the space to process longer thoughts, so expect to see what I consider “long form retweets” here.


That said, you really should consider following me on twitter if you’re not, simply because I forsee this blog and my twitter feed connecting more and more as time goes on.


All this is to say, I’m throwing my hat back in the writing ring.  I once heard a prolific blogger say you should never write a post apologizing for your lack of posting lately. No one cares. So, no apologies.  Keep your eye’s glued to this space for more content coming soon.

Once Upon A Time…

There once was a good King who ruled a kingdom with love and justice.  Even though this King was beyond equal, he was not understood by many of his subjects.  In time a rebellion was launched throughout much of the kingdom and those subjects who were ruled well by the King began to resist his laws and laugh at his decrees.  Conflict began to erupt as those who threw off the King’s rule clashed with those still subject to His reign.

Now the King had one son, as just and good as his father. He was the apple of his father’s eye and more than anyone else represented the good that could come from being subject to the King.  The son loved the Kingdom as much as the King and it caused them both great pain to see the rebellion sweep through the Kingdom.  The King’s son asked for permission to lead the Kingdom’s army in restoring order to the Kingdom and the King. Seeing the love that his son had for the Kingdom, the King sent the son to the furthest reaches of the Kingdom to restore the reign of love and justice.

For a long season the King’s son fought on behalf of the Kingdom.  He did not just battle the forces of the rebellion.  He helped them.  He was determined to demonstrate to the rebellion that the King’s reign was not just rules, but a good way of life that benefited all.  His army would restore buildings destroyed by the battle, even while the rebellion looked on and mocked the King’s authority.  He would personally take in the orphans of battle, especially if the orphans’ parents were part of the rebellion.

One day, the son came across a faction of rebels that was like most they had encountered.  One rebel in particular thought he would prove a point and he shot the king’s son with an arrow through the arm.  This incited others from the rebellion to fire at the king’s son, something no one had ever dared to do previously.  And that day, the King’s son died, watching the people that he loved rejoice over the victory they had achieved in killing him.

The news reached the King back at his palace and those of the army that escaped reported to the king the names of the villagers that were involved.  The King rose from his throne, rallied an army and fought through the rebellion until he found the very group of men who had killed His son.  He captured those men, brought them back to His kingdom and showed them his kindness.  He treated them with the same love that he treated his only son that they had killed.  He treated with special kindness the one who shot the first arrow.  It was his intention to love this man more than the rest, because he knew that the deepest rebellion was in him.

In time, the prisoners of the King learned of his goodness and justice.  The man who had killed the King’s son especially became convinced of the King’s love for his people.  Though he had cost the King the most, he experienced the King’s acceptance and favor unlike any other in the kingdom.   He who was the King’s sworn enemy became his friend and they shared a special bond because of the love the King had for not only this prisoner, but also the son he lost.  And that prisoner, who fought the King, rebelled against his ways, and tormented his son was named Travis.  And he spent the rest of his life gratefully accepting something he could never have earned.

Photo Credit: Sant Pere de Rodes by Rienante El Pintor de Fuego


I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

He radiates with life and energy

No one in history can compare with Him

He stands out among the masses.

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

He leads a Kingdom with virtue and wisdom

Inspired justice flows from his reign

He is an unending source of strength and purity.

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

His eyes are fixed with burning zeal

Nothing escapes the eyes of this man

His gaze is full of tender love.

I’ve encountered a God who is also a man

His emotions are hearty and full

No other man feels as deeply as He

His words are both gentle and transforming.

Have you ever met a God who is also a man?

Who does whatever He pleases?

Unrestrained strength meets unrestrained mercy

Who loves with His unending zeal?

Have you ever met a God who is also a man?

Who’s the perfection of strength and strategy?

Honor and nobility mark what He does,

Who can transform us like Him?

Come meet this God who is also a man:

He is altogether wonderful, unto the end.

Knowing His heart is an unending treasure

This is my love, my one true friend.

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Jesus by Travis Kolder is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.