Posts Tagged ‘Curtis’

Drive Thru the Bible

Hey Ladies,
This is Curtis. I wanted to take an opportunity to let you know about a new resource for men at Living Proof. We have created an audio daily devotional called Drive Thru the Bible. It consists of fifteen 7-10 minute messages you can listen to on the way to work, dropping the kids off at school, or running your daily errands. This 2-CD set on the life of Elijah was designed with men in mind, but would make a nice resource for anyone who might have trouble finding daily time in God’s Word or who just wanted an extra helping during the day.

Since it can be difficult giving a loved one a spiritual gift they weren’t asking for, here are a few helpful hints.

How to Give a Bible Resource to Your Husband

1) Picture how you would want to receive a gift and do the opposite.

2) Don’t hold him accountable if he hasn’t asked you to hold him accountable.
-To a man this is like calling an offsides penalty in the middle of a baseball game. He won’t want to play by your rules if he hasn’t agreed to play your game. *If you did not understand the sports reference above, just see rule 1 again.

3) Try not to create a universal standard for godliness.
-His approach to God will probably look different because men are not wired the same as women. You can find a calculator and an alarm clock in the electronics department, but they won’t output the same information. I’m the only one in our family who has done all of Beth’s Bible studies (I’m on the last week of Esther right now), but sometimes I have to split one day into two because I can’t focus for that long. So, don’t expect your husband to join you in a 45 minute in-depth Bible study session right away. Jesus may be more than happy with 8 minutes with your husband.

4) Tape the gift to a Sears, Lowes, or Home Depot gift card.
-It may also help to tell him that for every day he does his daily devotional the amount increases by $5. I understand this is a bribe, but how do you think I’m training my son to go to the bathroom on the potty?

5) Do not nag! REPEAT: Do not nag!
-If you want to see if he’s using it, look in these 3 places:
a) Where you gave it to him.
b) Wherever he keeps the cash he’s been saving, but doesn’t want you to know
about (but you already know about and help yourself to while he’s at work). *Amanda would like to add that she didn’t know it was his birthday cash!
c) Check his car. He might surprise you.

6) Don’t give up.
-“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

*You can find Drive Thru the Bible: Elijah in the “new products” section of our LPM online store. You’ll see it if you click here and scroll down a little.


Our LPM Ambassador to India and Other Updates

Hey, you sweet things! It’s me! Your long lost Siesta Mama! Well, not too long lost but I feel like I’ve lived six months of life since the last I checked in with you. I so hope you’ve been in the throes of active relationship with Christ Jesus and that He’s giving you (and me, please, Lord) eyes to see Him at work. Ears to hear Him speak. Everything to me. Everything.

We are so busy in this city right now we can hardly think straight. Everybody’s on overtime one way or another. I so loved AJ’s post (just before this one) and nearly cried reading it because the Ike aftermath is just so with-us here. You can’t drive three blocks without seeing it. Trees have been cut up and wood stacked in yards awaiting removal who-knows-when. Same with fences. Tarps on tons of roofs. Many streets lights are still out. So eerie to drive at night in an area that’s less familiar because it’s so easy to drive right through intersections that are supposed to be treated like four-way stops. Great way to have a bad wreck. Tens of thousands of hot meals are still being served by emergency vehicles in especially hard-hit areas of Houston. Curfews still in effect. And we were the fortunate ones. Galveston is in profoundly worse shape. Just keep praying but that’s all I’ll say for now. We’ll try to keep our posts mixed with other things as we can well understand that it’s not the big thing on everybody’s radar. All of you have your own personal and regional crises but what a tremendous balm to be able to share those things here.

Here are a few other tidbits of information around here:
*I TOTALLY LOVED BILLINGS. I mean LOVED IT. LOVED THEM!!!! LOVED JESUS ON THEM! Thank you for praying for us. I will remember them for a long, long time.

*Melissa and I have had our second night of Bible-intro class (we missed one night over Ike) and we are getting to know our young women and love them. We’re working their tails. You know what I mean. Brains. We’re asking them to do homework and a fair amount of memory work. They’re proving up to the challenge. Melissa and I had a blast putting stickers on completed homework assignments last night. Don’t think for a moment we’re using stickers because we’re treating them like ten year-olds. Any time I have the size class I can interact with one-on-one, I use silly incentives for one very good reason. They WORK. I don’t care if it’s a sixty year-old or a sixteen year-old. She wants her sticker. And I want to give it to her. Makes me so happy. Here are four figures about the Bible all our class members can tell you off the top of their heads today: [written over roughly] 1500 years, 66 Books, over 40 writers, 3 languages. And they can tell you what those languages are, where they are found and how impossible they are to read. Grin. I’m so proud of them.

*Living Proof Ministries put our beloved Curtis Jones on an airplane to India today to minister there for the next week. He’s been on many mission trips so I’m thankful to be able to say we are not sending a novice that far from home nor are we sending him alone. His best friend, Jerrell Altic, one of the young ministers at our church who is neck-deep in missions is partnering with him. We have been involved with various organizations and efforts in India for 10 years since having the privilege to serve on that beautiful and tragic soil but I’ve been so preoccupied with Africa the last number of years, I haven’t had a chance to return. Missions are big to us so I was elated when the opportunity arose for Curtis. I also deeply appreciate and respect Amanda’s courageous and giving heart to bless her man to make this trip to the other side of the world. When you have a potty-training two-year old all-boy and a baby girl on the way, that’s an offering God highly esteems. I’m going to cut and paste a little synopsis about Curtis’s mission to India from an email he sent me so you can hear it in his own words. I think you’ll be moved to care and to pray. He writes…

-We are partnering with Charasia, a ministry based in southeast India. Charasia ( rescues children who were born in the sex slave industry in India and gives them a home in their multiple orphanages. They also have excellent schools where the children learn about Christ through the Bible and English. In India if you do not know English you have very little chance to ever make it above the poverty line. We will be speaking and teaching these sweet children. The staff of these homes are women who were previously trapped in prostitution, but have been set free both physically and spiritually. We will be giving Living Proof’s resources to these sweet ladies. Charasia also sponsors many churches in their local area. Jerrell and I will be encouraging these pastors and giving them copies of my devotional journal. We will also have various opportunities to preach in the local churches. You can find information about sponsoring a child on their website and also a more detailed description of what they do.

Back to Beth: Can you imagine a more important reason to travel to the other side of the globe? I pray God astounds them with His power, Presence, and favor. Curtis promised me he’d come back with plenty of pictures and stories and we’ll be sure and share some of them with you.

OK, I better get off of here! AJ and the Mister are on their way over here to eat dinner with us and I have NO IDEA – I do mean N-O I-D-E-A – what we’re going to eat. I’ll cast my eyes to the clouds and squint with all my might until I see my favorite super hero: It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, IT’S SUPPERMAN!!!!!

Love y’all so much. Stay in the Word!


Deepening a Father’s Heart: A 25 Day Journal for Men

Siestas! We are so blessed to announce the availability of this brand new 25-day devotional journal for dads, written by our own Curtis Jones. We were delighted when God began to give him this vision and knew that the timing was perfect for Father’s Day. You’ve asked us a thousand times for something for men. Well, here you go! Our first offering! May God be praised! Each entry consists of a daily Scripture and devotional reading, suggested passages for further reading, application questions, and space for journaling prayers.

This devotional journal is our special offer for June and July with a donation of any amount. We want anyone who wants one to have one. If you are interested in grabbing hold of Deepening a Father’s Heart for a man in your life, follow this link.

We love you and desire to serve you faithfully! May God use every effort from this ministry to, in some way, glorify His Name and edify His people. It is our driving passion to see God’s people in God’s Word. We love you, Siestas!


The Weakness of Will-Powered Living

Holiness, the Holy Spirit, and James Coney Island
by Curtis Jones

Last night I swore off fast food. I’ve been having some stomach pains and a few days ago I ran out of Zantac. It’s not the first time. A few years ago I noticed I was starting to develop sharp pains in my stomach. Since I’m a male, I didn’t do anything about it. One day I was on the way to eat lunch with a friend and the pain was so unbearable I made him turn around and take me to the doctor. The problem was, since I am a male, I didn’t even have a doctor. So I looked one up in the yellow pages. I arrived at the doctor’s office, told him the situation, and waited as he ran some tests. He was perplexed, so he told me about Zantac (praise God), and scheduled me for an ultrasound the next morning. I was a little embarrassed to be having an ultrasound since the only people I knew who received ultrasounds were pregnant women. I was confident I wasn’t pregnant. In high school my youth pastor told us that if we filled out a True Love Waits card we didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant. It turned out he was right.

When I showed up for my appointment, I was escorted into a small dark room and asked to slip into one of those paper gowns. Then they made me wait as if it were some twisted joke among the staff. “The guy in room 1b is wearing the paper gown! How long should we make him wait?” Eventually, a woman came in and told me to lie down on the table. She took a wand and rubbed it around my stomach. I tried to peek at the screen, at which time she informed me that I wasn’t allowed to see it and then moved it out of view. While she did veil the screen from my eyes, she failed to veil her amusement at the state of my stomach. I’ll spare you the diagnosis, but suffice it to say that I needed to cut out soda and French fries.

Last night my gastrointestinal misery led me to proclaim to Amanda that I was done with any food you can get through a window. She seemed unmoved by my new commitment, probably because it is not the first time she has heard it. No doubt she knew I couldn’t, wouldn’t follow through. Turns out, she was right. Only thirteen short hours after my resolute decree I found myself in the drive-thru of James Coney Island (home of the best chili dog in Houston). They have the freshest buns, the juiciest hot dogs, and cheese that comes out of a gun. I was bewitched. I couldn’t resist the siren’s call. And I’m weak.

I’m the king of commitments. My specialty is spiritual commitments. I’m going to read through the Bible in one year. I’m going to share my faith every day. I’m going pray with my wife every night. You name the commitment and I guarantee I have made it. And broken it. Each time I come with good intentions, a pure heart, and an intense desire to do what is right, but rarely does it work.

Will-powered faith is the worst kind of faith. A relationship with God that is rooted in our ability or strength is doomed to fail for two reasons. First, a will-powered faith will result in self-loathing. We make commitments, try our hardest, give it our all, and fail. So we try again…and fail. And the only person we have to blame is ourselves. Some of us suffer from a spiritual depression because we have lived in a cycle between trying and failing for so long. Second, if our will-powered faith doesn’t end in self-loathing it is because it ended in self-righteousness. We make commitments, try our hardest, and we succeed. We congratulate ourselves on a job well done. Then we look around and notice that other people are not experiencing the same success we are. Why don’t they try as hard as me? Maybe they are just not as godly. Self-loathing or self-righteousness—God hates both.

That’s why he sent us a Helper. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:16-17, ESV). Jesus said it was to our advantage that He went away so He could send the Holy Spirit (John 16:7) to rescue us from the inevitable cycle of human strength-centered living. He will give us the help that we cannot give ourselves. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21, ESV). The Holy Spirit’s power at work within you, the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11), is able to do for you supernaturally what you could not do naturally: live for Jesus and resist fast food.


Remembering in the Desert

Guess what!?!? I am blogging from the LPM office today! Isn’t that fun? I almost brought my camera to document the day, but I decided not to pester my co-workers with a camera flash on my first day back. The Jones family made the move down to Houston two weeks ago. I will still be working mostly from home, but on Thursdays Curt and I will switch places so that I can work in-office with the rest of the Village. I have been away for four years and I probably don’t need to tell you how good it feels to be able to see and talk to these wonderful women again on a regular basis! There is a lot of iron sharpening iron in this office and my spirit dearly missed that while I was away. These women have set the bar high and I benefit from their influence in countless ways.

Well, this has been a big week. Curtis started work at LPM, Beth flew up to the Dallas area to do a filming at the Life Today studios, and she heads back out of town again today. She is meeting up with her beloved LifeWay film crew to tape “intros and outros” for the Esther series. (Intros and outros are the little clips you see immediately before and after the teaching sessions.) They will film on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and then we will get her back home on Monday. Beth and the crew would love to have your prayer support during the next few days. The biggest request is for great weather and no rain!

In October of 2006, Beth and the crew filmed intros and outros for the updated version of the Tabernacle study. Beth wrote a really neat reflection about that week and, not having a blog at that time, we posted it on our devotional page. Here’s a link to it in case you’d like to check it out: Remembering in the Desert.


New Staff Member

Living Proof joyfully welcomes Curtis Jones to our staff!

My Dear Siestas, please join us as we welcome my dear son-in-law, Curtis, to our ministry staff. We are beside ourselves with joy! I know I’ve set myself up to be teased for announcing his arrival this soon after Melissa moved to Atlanta, but you’ll have to trust me when I tell you that you can’t talk Curtis Jones into a danged thing that he’s not convinced is God’s will. And I say that to his credit. Last fall we began to sense God opening a door for him here in Houston at LPM and have since worked on developing the position as he finished his responsibilities at the church he, Amanda, and Jackson loved so dearly. Curtis will be a wonderful addition to our team and you’ll be hearing from him through various avenues on the website. Please click onto his LPM page to learn lots more about it. We’re crazy about you guys around here and hope so much that this will be another way God will empower us to serve His Son to you. Blessings!