Next Steps

You guys rock. That's the first thing I want to say. After my last post about leaving my current job in a step of faith I have received nothing but encouragement. So now that I have a clear plan of what I'm going to be doing next on my professional journey I thought the least I could do would be to fill you in.

Stable Environment

I will be taking two weeks off after my last day at my current job to catch up on some freelance work as well as spend some time resting with my wife. But starting June 01 I will become the 4th member on the UX team at Fellowship Technologies. After much prayer and consideration I see this opportunity as the right move for me and my family right now. But that's not to say I didn't struggle with feeling like I was selling out to "the man" or anything. The notion of freelancing full-time still intrigues me and is something I want to pursue someday, but right now we need something stable while my wife finishes her degree.

The UX Team that has already been assembled at Fellowship is something I am looking forward to. For the past 2 1/2 years I have been a lone ranger figuring things out for myself. Not to say that it hasn't had its perks, but one can only go so far on his own. So this transition into a team environment is something I'm really looking forward to. Plus, I will be working with people my own age that I will actually have something in common with. My fellow team members include: Matt Vasquez, Nathan Smith and David Brooks.

Walk by Faith not by Sight

I am continually blown away by the grace and favor that God has given me. By continuing to seek His will, I made a decision of faith last week without any secure plans ahead of me to quit my job. I knew that a position with Fellowship was in the cards, but they still hadn't given me a firm decision. So my plan was to work freelance full-time. To which I received an immense amount of support and encouragement in. But in following my heart I found something better than I expected. Sorry, I don't mean to keep repeating myself here, but I just hope to encourage you to stop being afraid, trust God, and let go of all that's holding you back. I don't mean quit today, not by any means, but start praying and see where God might lead you. I know I've waited for over a year now before making this move.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

Last but not least

I still plan to do side work, but more than likely I will be very picky about what projects I work on. (If you have already contacted me about freelance work or would like to you can email me at: hello[at]kylesteed[dot]com.) I think that's one of the greatest advantages to working full-time, you can pick and choose very carefully about what other projects you want to work on. Also, I have no immediate plans of returning to school. This last semester really proved to me that school is a waste of time. Being in my current situation I can see how school is only slowing me down from what I really want to be doing, and what I'm already doing. It's sad to me that we put so much pressure on kids to go to college and get a degree. I don't want to go off on a huge tangent, I will write a post on this topic, but I know people who have their degrees and either (A) aren't using them or (B) still don't have a job.

I know this much. I am blessed to have a vision for my life, a wife that supports me and the skills that pay that bills. Or something like that. ;)

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." - James 1:17


Keep focused. Stay the course. If you have a feeling that what you're doing is right then don't look back. If you fail at it then great, you can always start again. There's never been one right way to do something. But now, more than ever, we are bombarded with choices. And I'm not even talking about the complicated ones, like will you marry me or buying a car, no I'm talking about the day-to-day choices we face. And herein lies the key to staying centered, are you ready for it, it's patience. Don't be moved by emotion or by trends, be moved by the Spirit of God. I heard it said today that God is always moving, but He's never in a hurry. That really speaks to me. I hope it does to you too.

Two For One Special

Giving Thanks

A Huge thank you to all of you for your continued support and love through twitter and the comments you have been leaving. And now that Chat Creative is underway I feel like I get an even bigger chance to give back to this great community that I love so much.

Meet Firehost

If you haven't heard of Firehost yet, just wait, they are taking the hosting world by storm right now.

A few weeks ago I was having issues with my old hosting company, which seemed to be a regular occurrence, and while venting to a friend of mine was recommended that I try out Firehost. That same night another friend on twitter messaged me about a partnership opportunity Firehost was offering. So I filled out the form and BAM! the very next day I got an email from the CEO telling me they would love to partner with me.

Needless to say the past week has been a breeze getting my site migrated over to Firehost. Their support team is friendly, courteous and very knowledgeable about what they're doing. This opposed to my previous hosting provider who I held on this pedestal as the "Best Thing Since Sliced Servers", but ended up leaving me dumb-struck as to what all the hype was about. So please, go check them out at Firehost.com and learn about their Advance Secure Hosting services.

Back to School

Going back to college has been a constant struggle for me over the past year. One day I will convince myself that it's a good idea and the next just blow it off and continue working.

Well this past weekend my wife and I were able to spend some quality time together and talk through some things, one of which was school. And now I feel confident in my decision to go back to college and finish my degree. The plan right now is to finish my core classes at a community college the next two semesters and then starting in the Fall 2010, transfer to the College of Visual Arts and Design at University of North Texas.

I know it won't be easy, and I'll probably feel like giving up more than once, but with a good support system (a.k.a. my wife) I know I will pull through. And in the end I can look back on what I accomplished and feel proud that I stuck it out.

Meet Josh Cagwin

I first met Josh in tinychat over a month ago, and then just a few weeks ago met him in person when I flew out to Southern California. Josh recently just launched his website/blog over at CagwinDesign.com where he shares his thoughts and experiences in design. Yesterday he posted up a new article called "What Makes Us Hungry" where he poses the question about what inspires us to do what we do.

I think that we as creative people, more than any others, wrestle with feelings of inadequacy and the desire to always be better. You can read more about that here. But what I really feel inspires me the most is the chance to meet (and work with) great people and do great things. Fame is fleeting but change is permanent, meaning that I could care less about being famous and more about helping people realize their true potential.

On faith

I'm not usually one to be so open about my faith. But when I'm passionate about something I can't help but speak what's in my heart. It's been a hard lesson to learn, and I still have a long way to go, but I'm learning that I don't need to be approved by anyone to feel complete in what I'm doing. God has already approved me. But I just like to share what He has done.

from slave to son

We are no longer slaves but sons of God There has been something growing in me over the last year or so. Maybe longer. Possibly since the beginning of time. I have known the scripture in my head where Paul writes to the Romans stating that we are no longer slaves, but sons. But there is a difference between knowing something in your mind and having it applied to your heart. And when something passes from your head to your heart it can really impact your whole existence.

"Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

- Romans 8:14-15

I used to be unsure about all the different analogies of who we are to God. Was it better to call Him Lord or God or King or Master or Father? I couldn't quite figure out what my ultimate relationship with God was? But it seems really clear now, we have been called to a Father/son relationship. Look at the example Jesus showed us while He was on earth. He never did anything except for which He saw His Father doing. (John 5:19) And I think that was the perfect example for us to take hold of. Please don't misunderstand me though, God is all things from King to Master to Lord over all (that's what makes Him so wonderful), and I respect Him as such, but I think all roads lead to us becoming sons of God.

"And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

- Galatians 4:6-7

I have really been digging this podcast called churchthink, by Ben Pasley. You may recognize his name from his music with Enter The Worship Circle. And if you haven't heard of either one of them then I highly recommend you check them out. l have been really blessed to listen to Ben talk about the truth of God's heart for His children. It amazes me how God meets us where we are in life and gives us the tools we need to dig deeper in to Him. And that's what I feel has been happening these past few months. And even within the last week I have been building a new relationship with Ben while he's asked me to do some design work.

Growing in to sonship from slavery is both easy and hard at the same time. On the one hand it's easy because it's true. We don't have to work harder to be any more of a son than we already are, and we don't have to try and impress God with what we do because His love for us is unconditional. But on the flip-side of this, we (well I say we, but am really talking about those of us who grew up inside the organized church) have grown up believing that being a slave to Christ is the closest we're gonna get to the Father. And while being a slave to Christ is far better than not, it still doesn't hold the fullness of who we are meant to be.

"just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will"

-Ephesians 1:4-5

I was talking with my friend Charles over a burger and some beers on Wednesday night and was sharing with him about this wonderful journey we're on, being sons of God. And when I brought up the verse in Romans that talks about us receiving the Spirit of adoption, he told me something I had never heard before. According to the present time in Rome when Paul wrote his letter, children were able to separate themselves from their parents, but when you were adopted in to a family that was a bond that could not be broken. So for Paul to tell the people in Rome at that time they had received a "Spirit of Adoption" must have been really powerful. This act of adoption is what Jesus was talking about when He compared us to branches and He the vine, and how we must be "grafted" in to the vine.

God's Spirit is stronger than any human emotion, physical strength or religious theology. It can never be broken, bound or forgotten. And it is this same Spirit that comes in to our hearts and cries "Daddy, God". It is the same Spirit that prays what we don't know how, and the same Spirit that never fears, but believes, hopes and endures all things. Without the Holy Spirit of God we are just orphans.

Re-Connecting with God

Today we went to visit a new church. I haven't been to church in a long time. Partly because I've established an idea of what I think "church" is and also because the churches within the military are not very open to the Holy Spirit. But now I'm home, finally settled in, and I know it's time to get my life and marriage back in-line with God's word. Not that I've been living outside of his word, at least I don't think so. But not being around other believers has been incredibly hard on my spiritual health.

Going in this morning I had a slight pessimistic view of how I thought the service would be. (And it probably didn't help that the inside looked like an IKEA showroom.) But I was surprised with the morning bulletin at how well designed it was. Not that this matters to probably 90% of other people. But to me, a creative individual, I tend to scrutinize the design of almost anything. So I was happy to see a beautifully constructed piece of print in my hands.

I know God is in the details and I can't stand it when churches sacrifice good design for mediocre clip art that was popular in the 1990's.

Moving on, the worship was very refreshing and I felt a good connection with God as I sang praise to Him. I really spent a lot of time focusing on His blessings in my life these past few months. And every time I really focused on delivering my praise to Him and not just singing I was struck with tears in my eyes. Which is something I honestly miss, as weird as that may sound. But really, the closest times I've ever been to God have been when the tears poured from my eyes like waterfalls.

The message this morning was on Jeremiah 29:1-7. It spoke exactly of my recent 3 years in Japan. How God placed me in a foreign land where the ratio of Christians to Buddhist is something like 1 to 10. I wish I could have been more faithful with the time I was given there though. I feel like I just lost hope a lot of the time. And the rest of the time I feel like I was just waiting for my time to end in Japan. So I guess the big difference between me and the Jews is that I knew my date of exile from the foreign land. However, I realized I don't have to be on the other side of the world to be in a foreign land. Because, in reality, this earth is a foreign land compared to where my real home resides, in Heaven.

I hope this finds you well today. Remember that it's never to late to start anew and get back in touch with the One who is always willing to listen. God Bless.

-stay creative-