Jim Rubart

Since 1994, Jim Rubart has worked with clients such as AT&T/Cingular, RE/MAX, ABC and Clear Channel radio though his company Jr2 Marketing, but his passion is writing fiction. He's also a photographer, guitarist, professional speaker, golfer, and semi-pro magician. He lives in the Northwest with the world's most perfect wife and his two almost-perfect sons. No, he doesn't sleep much. You can reach him at jlrudini[at]comcast.net

You Want to Establish Your Brand?
We Gotta Do One Thing First
(spiritual application regarding your brand)

In May I taught a class at the NCWA Writers Renewal Conference on branding and identity.

The night before my workshop, as Mick Silva and I chowed down on pizza, he said something that flicked on a switch in my mind and heart: “If they don’t fully understand their identity in God—and how He truly feels about them—it will mute their knowing their own unique identity and how they can apply it as a writer and author.”


I took Mick’s counsel and started the workshop off by reading a piece I’d written three years ago as I struggled to see God as He sees me. I think we should start our foray into the world of brand establishment and identity the same way.

For those of you who never waver in your knowledge of God’s unquenchable love, stop. We’ll catch you next month. But if you think God sometimes looks at you with a frown on His face, read on.

Rewiring Our Image of God

If you can do it, think of God unedited by how you’re supposed to see Him. Not what religion or your mind tells you to think—“God is love, so I guess He must love me”—but your heart. What images come to mind?




The image I fight is of Him standing in front of me with folded arms, saying, “Well, you’ve sure screwed up a lot, but I have to let you in anyway.”

It’s probably why I cry every time I read Luke 15. You know the passage. Whole books have been written on it, music videos done, modernizations that have tried to convey the message in a more compelling way.

There’s good reason for all the focus. It is the entire gospel in twenty-two verses. With it, Jesus encapsulates the core of the Father’s heart toward us.

The part that reduces me to tears? The first part of verse 20: “So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son’ ” (Luke 15:20–21 NASB emphasis added).

My Bible has little notations down the middle of the pages, often showing the literal translation of a word, and in this case it puts a whole new spin on the verse. Before I dug into the literal translation of ran, embraced, and kissed I pictured the Father doing a slow jog up to the son, giving him a swift hug, a pat on the back and a quick kiss on the cheek. A kind of Jewish-Italian-Mafia–Marlon Brando thing. “Welcome back to the family, kid!”


This is how I’d write the translation based on the literal meaning of the words:

“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and raced toward his son like an Olympic sprinter. When he reached him, the father, full of passion and joy, nearly knocked his son to the ground. Seizing him with all his strength, the father wrapped up his son in his arms, and squeezed him tighter and tighter as tears flowed down the Father's cheeks onto his beard. The father kissed his son feverously over and over and over again.

That’s how God feels about you.

Notice two more things before you go. When did the Father do the things above? Before the son confessed or after? And what was the Father’s reaction after the son did confess?

He ignored the confession.

“And the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate” (vv. 21–24).


He doesn’t even address the sin.

Don’t get me wrong. God abhors sin. Cannot abide it. But that’s why He sent Jesus: to abolish it forever.

But there are no folded arms, no cruel scolding, no tyrant or dictator to be found. Only unbridled, fervent love. And an invitation to join a party with the riches of the Kingdom spread out in your honor.

Ask Him. Ask Him now to rewire your thinking about who He is.

And run into his passionate embrace.

The Application to Branding

Until you know you’ve been invited to join glorious a party—in your honor—you’ll see yourself as unworthy to step into the powerful destiny he’s called you to.

As Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.”

You are glorious, you are strong, you are fascinating. Not because of anything you’ve done—sorry, you can’t take any credit—but because of what He built into you before you were born, and because of the new being you became when you chose to follow Jesus.

It’s time to embrace fully the truth of your talents and personality.

It’s time to take your gifts out of the shadows, believe they are true, and use them to make our King famous.