Saturday, June 28, 2008

Screaming...and an update.

So, I was sitting in the chair tonight holding Campbell, admiring all her features. I wonder if God ever looks at us and is totally amazed by his creation…I know that when I look at Campbell I am totally amazed at God and I have to give him the glory for His creation. Morgan once told me that when a mother walks out of the sight of her baby, that the baby cries because she thinks that her mother is gone…forever. I also wonder who asked the baby if that’s why she screams to the top of her lungs when her mother leaves the room….anyway. The point is that a baby desperately desires to keep her mother in her sight, where she knows that she is there for her. I wonder what would happen if we tried to keep God in our sight that desperately. What if we kept our eyes so focused on Him that we knew His every move before He made it. Campbell seems to know when Morgan picks her up if she is going to feed her, or change her diaper, or put her down for a nap, or just play with her. What if we knew God so well that we knew exactly what He was going to do as soon as He started moving? Are you watching God with great anticipation of what He is going to do? Do you have any idea of what He is doing so that you can move with Him? Do you scream for Him when you feel like you’ve lost sight of Him? Do you even care to be in His presence?.....


-The Family and I had company all week with some teenagers from Greenwood visiting us this week. They helped with service projects, baby sat and entertained us. It was great to get to spend some time with them. They are leaving tomorrow. I hope that they come back before the end of the summer.
-The Bluffton area newspaper featured and Crosspoint in an article today. Click here to see it.
-I miss being in Greenwood.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Reckless Faith

So, I was going to write about my devotion that I read the other day, but I can't communicate it to you as well as the original author, so just read this excerpt and know that it really spoke to me and I hope that it speaks to you too.

This comes from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers

"...Peter...walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid.." (Matthew 14:29-30)

The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn't see them at first. He didn't consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and "walked on the water." Then he began to take those things around him into account, and instantly, down he went. Why couldn't our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves, as well as on top of them? He could have, yet neither could be done without Peter's continuing recognition of the Lord Jesus.
We step right out with recognition of God in some things, then self-consideration enters our lives and down we go. If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances....
...If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, "Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?" Be reckless immediately-totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything-by casting your all upon Him.

Any of you who know me know that this devotional had to speak to me, but just so that you know, it didn't speak to me because I feel like I have done as well or better than Peter when he stepped out of the boat to go to Jesus. To be honest, I feel like I've got a long way to go before my feet are even over the edge of the boat. Right now I think that I may be standing up in the boat at the most and saying to myself, "Hey, there is Jesus and I want to go to Him!" So if you want to pray for me, please pray that I'll step out of the boat every chance that I get and walk to Jesus, keeping my eyes focused on Him. I'll leave you with the last little part of the devotional from Oswald Chambers for June 18th, and I encourage you to be reckless...Immediately when you hear His voice. Even though you will almost certainly sink at some point, He'll be there to catch your hand.

You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness-being willing to risk your all.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Well, after several days with no legitimate furniture, one of the families that we have met here in Bluffton finally felt sorry enough for us to let us borrow their extra dinning room table that they had in storage. Morgan was so excited to have a chair to sit in that she has refused to move for the past 6 hours 36 minutes and 22 seconds and counting. She is currently still sitting in the same spot as the picture that you see... So I assume that you know I am joking, but we are excited to have chairs to sit in. A big thank you to Russell Whitfield and family.
Since we are on the topic of being excited about simple things. I have to wonder how often we don't get excited about things that we used to get excited about. um...
-Dates with our spouses...for some, I know I still do, but we don't have nearly enough dates.
-Our you still get excited about your children...they are a gift from God.
-Our Job...Is it a calling or just something that pays the bills?...(these dots are meant to encourage you to take some time to think...)
-How about our spouses in general?...
-Excercise?...I know I have my spells when I get excited about exercising...they don't last long, but I'm not saying that is okay. Physical health should be a priority.
-How about life in general?...Do you ever think "Who sucked all my life out and what do I do to get it back?"...Maybe you could talk to Jesus about that?
-Speaking of Jesus, and I know you knew that I was going to get to him...When was the last time that you really...legitimately...truly got excited about Jesus?..."Man, you cut me deep Shrek, real deep."

Blog Students

I've had a really hard time with blogging lately, I have found that it is more of a burden than anything. My goal is to figure out how to blog in such a way that it is a release for me, and informative or inspirational to those who read it. So I guess I would call myself a student of blogging. I recently read two blogs about how to blog and I want to post the links here because I have a lot of friends who have also started their own blogs. These two blogs were helpful for me, maybe they'll help you too. Blog #1 and Blog #2 I hope that this helps some other folks too. Please be patient with me, I'm still trying to get this blogging thing down.

Curt...what exactly are you doing?

Even after all this time in Bluffton I still get questions about what I am doing exactly in Bluffton. I don't mind the questions, I actually appreciate them, but here is a little info that may help. I am currently interning at a new church plant in Bluffton, SC. The name of the church is Crosspoint Bluffton and my official title is Interim Youth Minister. Crosspoint has not officially launched yet, so they don't have any regular worship services on Sunday mornings. My main goal by the end of the summer is to try to build a base of students for the actual Youth Minister when he/she arrives later this year. There is only one student in the current student ministry of Crosspoint Bluffton, so my goal is to simply go out into the community and form relationships with teens that I have never met and eventually grow that into some form of bible study. As simple as this may sound, it is just about the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. I am learning so many lessons and I am excited about the potential of this summer. It is true that I get to spend some time at the beach having fun, but I also spend a lot of time building relationships on many other fronts beyond teenagers. I'm currently building relationships with people in my neighborhood, the local business owners and managers, the church staff of Crosspoint, the staff of other churches in the area, and I am also leading Oasis back home and am in constant communication with several mentors and with the state convention. Not to mention that I have a wife and three kids, and I'm so glad that God has provided the opportunity for them to be down here with me. I'm taking notes on everything that I see, and preparing for more formal training in August. I am also trying to find time to communicate with people about the possibility of partnering with Oasis Church to help pay my salary. These are just a few of the things that I have going on right now and I hope that it sheds a little light on what exactly I am doing in Bluffton and with Oasis too. For the Core team. Continue to strive to walk closer to God in your personal walk. For all those who read this, please be praying for My family and myself and for Oasis church. Thank you all so much for all that you do. For the next few blogs I would love to just answer some questions. So if you all could just post comments with questions that you would like to ask me pertaining to anything really, but specifically my internship this summer and Oasis Church, I would love an opportunity to answer them. I'm sure that if you are wondering, then others are too.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Just an update

I don’t really have anything to say tonight. So I’ll just give you a quick update about what is going on.

-Me and the Family returned to Bluffton yesterday at about 3:30am.

-Intern Matt and I went to a local FCA rally and made a good contact with the local FCA Director.

-We spent some time today on Tybee Island with Thomas, Sally and Lila Moore, some of our good friends from Greenwood.

-We are all currently sleeping in the floor of our house because we don’t have any furniture yet…it’s kind of like camping…without the fire…

-I enjoyed getting to be with the core group this past Wed. night. It was good seeing you all.

-We had a reality check this past Wed. in the core meeting when we came to the realization that we have 27 youth and children in our core group…That scared me…it isn’t something that we were expecting or that we were prepared for. It is one of those surprise praises though. God is blessing what we are doing and I have to give Him all the glory for it.

-Continue to pray that God will continue to meet all of our needs and that we will follow Him faithfully wherever He leads.

-Thank you to all those who are involved with Oasis Church in any form or fashion.

Saturday, June 7, 2008


The last couple of days have been very painful and testing. My Papa was taken off life support yesterday. As of now, all church planting plans are at a stand still, and will be until we get through this. My Papa is a precious man. One of the most familiar things that I remember about him is his hands. I can remember when he would hug me or just touch me, his hands were always so rough and calloused. My Papa always had a garden and he worked very hard to grow vegetables in the red South Carolina clay. He was always a hard worker. I remember shucking corn and shelling peas on their porch and under the oak trees. At that time in my life, I did whatever I could to avoid work. Now I understand the importance of working hard. There are two men in my life who have taught me what it means to have a good work ethic. The first is my father. He would always tell me and still says to me, "If you're going to do something, don't do it half way." The second is my Papa. His calloused hands were always a reminder of who he was and what it meant to work hard. As I held his hands in the hospital I noticed a definite difference in the way his hands felt, they were no longer calloused. I've known for a while that it has been tough on him having to sit in a chair at his home, but when I felt his hands in a less aged and softer condition, a tough reality sunk in, for some time my Papa hasn't been able to be the Papa I've always known him to be...A hard worker. Who is Alvin Jones to me?...He is a hard working faithful man. He has always loved his family and his wife, my Nana. I have had some jobs that created callouses on my hands, but right now I have a calling that causes callouses in my spirit and on my heart at times. As my dad says "Son, if your going to do something, don't do it half way." And to the man who taught me the importance of a callous or two. Thank you for the lessons, thank you for the love, thank you for being you. I love you Papa!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Enemy Territory.

So, this morning as I was walking around in my pajama pants when I realized that I was wearing my USC pajama pants. Now this is usually not a very interesting tidbit of information, but you see, as I was walking around getting ready for the day I realized that I could not leave my room while wearing those pants. Not because they are a little too tight or anything like that, but simply because if I left my room with those pants on I would given definite identification that I am in enemy territory. Some of you may remember that I told you a couple of days ago that I am staying with Carl Martin, the lead pastor of Crosspoint Bluffton, but you see, Carl is not just some pastor. Carl was Strong Safety on the 1981 National Championship Clemson Football team. Austin was gazing at Carl's jersey, football pants and national championship ring just last night. So when I say that I would identify myself as an man who is in enemy territory, I'm really serious. Carl is a great guy, and he just shook his head when I told him I was going to write this blog. It's a blast staying here. But here is my question for you. Is it obvious when you are in the enemies territory? Are you so marked with the blood of Jesus and smitten with a passion for Christ that the Devil knows who's team you are on? We need to be serious. We do have an enemy, and he is in this fight. We better be serious about who's team we are on. I hope that there is never any question about who's team I'm on...What about you?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Are you really fine?

Today as Austin (My brother-in-law) and I were going from place to place just simply trying to meet people in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area, we had the fortunate opportunity to meet a young lady who wasn't so excited to see us. After speaking with her for approx. 20 seconds about one of her coworkers who we were trying to locate, I began to introduce myself. As I held out my hand, which most people in America understand as the universal sign of "hey shake my hand", she looked me right in the eyes and crossed her arms. I thought that maybe she didn't see my hand, so I awkwardly acted like I was just putting my hand on the nearby counter. Any idiot could have seen that I was embarrassed. then I proceeded to tell her who I was and I offered her some information about the church. She then proceeded to give me a "you're wasting my time" look and said "I'm fine." I then said thank you and you have a nice day. After leaving I began to think back on the occasion and realized that even before I ever gave her any inclination as to who I was, she was standoffish. So, my thoughts are this. Why was she so unenthusiastic to speak with me for just 45 seconds or so? Does she not like the coworker that we were looking for? Did someone pee in her cornflakes that morning? Is she just an unusually unfriendly person? Or did she have a legitimate reason for being rude? I know that when life is hitting me hard I tend to be rude. So I like to think that she was experiencing something in life that was making her day not so great. So my thoughts then became this. Why, when we are obviously frustrated, do we fill like we still have to say "I'm fine"? Why can't we just say "I really am not in the mood to hear you speak or take any information from you"? I guess it's maybe a last ditch effort to be polite. I don't really know. Finally my question for you is this. Are you really fine? Maybe you just need to be honest with God, or a friend, or anyone. Maybe you just need to be honest with your spouse?.........dramatic pause as God deals with you............I scratch my chin and look at you....... If you aren't fine, then maybe you need to forget the last ditch effort to be polite, just be honest.


-We are still looking for a place for My family to stay this summer. We thought that we had somewhere to stay, but it all fell through on Monday.
-There is a possibility we will have something by tomorrow. Not exactly what we wanted, but exactly what we need....God knows what He is doing.
-We are constantly adding more and more organization to Oasis Church.
-I have an amazing staff!
-Austin and I are currently staying this week With Carl Martin (Crosspoint's lead pastor)
-We are looking forward to having several people on the core team come and spend the weekend with us and experience Crosspoint's preview service.
-I am totally stoked about all of the support that has been given to me, my family and Oasis Church.
-I am beginning to think that I need to figure out how to do shorter blogs.
-There is currently only One youth in the youth ministry of Crosspoint Bluffton. So gathering a group of young people for the church is going to and has already presented some challenges. It's mainly just relationship building right now....with strangers...and that's not easy.
-There is so much more, but I'm tired and I have a lot more to do tonight and you've already stopped reading this. Good night.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What are you running from?

So today is my first day in Bluffton for the summer. I have been looking forward to this for several weeks now. I'm not much of a writer so you will have to bear with me as I learn some things. It's been absolutely amazing to see how God has put His plan together in the lives of my family, this church plant, so many other people and even my own. He has freed me up to follow Him with such a blind faith, and it has been a challenge and a true blessing. As I write my very first blog I have ever written, it makes me think of how many opportunities we have to follow God into uncharted territories. We have many opportunities to follow Him, and almost always, if not always, when we follow Him it will be a very uncomfortable experience. The human tendency is to run from anything that has the potential to make us uncomfortable, even if it is the call of God...especially if it is the call of God. Today after My brother-in-law and I arrived in Bluffton at Carl Martin's house (Carl is the lead pastor/planter of Crosspoint Bluffton) we spoke with Carl a while and eventually began to settle in when Carl called me upstairs to his office to look at some rental houses online. As I walked up the stairs I began to think about the fact that Carl had his family pet upstairs with him...which by the way, is a ferocious beast. It seems as though for every step I took up the stairwell I recalled a different story that I had heard about Carl's Family pet..."She bit all three of our Associate pastor's children." "When we lived in Pickens she bit a UPS man." "The other day she attacked a pit-bull and bit it in the face." These were not comforting thoughts as I prepared myself to walk into the lair of this ferocious animal. Needless to say, as I topped the stairs, there she was, staring me right in the eyes. From that point on everything happened so quickly that I don't know how to explain it. The first thing I remember was the huge 12 inch fangs protruding from the mouth of the beast, the last thing I remember was the point when I realized that I had leaped completely over the rails of the stairwell to find myself hanging about 12 feet over the first floor. Attached you will see pictures of that exact ferocious animal, and let me tell you, looks can be deceiving. What you see right now is not what I saw when I was staring certain death in the face. Now as funny as it may be that I literally jumped over a stair rail to run from that little innocent creature (as some would cal her) I do have to ask you this question. What is it that you may be running from in life? I can tell you that for about 6 months I ran from the call of church planting, and I didn't get very far. We can run from a lot of things but when we run from God we always get caught. For some, they get caught the day they die. I don't suggest that you wait that long. For some, they get caught the day that their actions they have been keeping secret for so long are exposed to the world. This isn't a good option either. Yet, their are a few who are willing to give up before they ever get caught. I like this option. Some of you may refer to it as surrendering. So what are you running from? Is it a call that God has placed on your life? Is it sin in your life that you know you need to deal with? Is it giving someone forgiveness? Is it just the fact that you don't want to commit everything to Him? Or are you just running from a little dog? Whatever you are running from, the best option is always to surrender...unless of course you are running from a one foot tall 20 pound beast with huge 12 inch fangs. If that is the case, then very very fast.