Snow in Aiken – 02.12.10

We rarely get any snow it has been so much fun watching the kids play in it and just seeing it out my window.  Here’s a quick vid from around 4:30 today.  I’ll be uploading a few more today and tomorrow.


Updated Video


Updated 02.13.10


doing the same thing….

…over and over again will produce the same results.  Now, I’ll give you a minute to digest the “incredible depth” of that thought. 🙂

If you’ve ever done any weight training consistently, one of the things you’ll experience is what I call “the plateau”.  The plateau is the point when a particular muscle group tends to not show or experience new growth.  I’m sure there are official medical terms for this, but I’ve seen it in my own experience.  There is a point where your muscle “remembers” that exercise, call it boredom, and growth is limited.

I think that is a great analogy for our lives.  There comes a point where we do the same routines in ministry, our careers, our families over and over again and we stopped being stretched and our growth is stunted.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking and asking myself:

  • What are the areas in my ministry that I need to stretch myself in?  In my career?  In my family?
  • What are the routines I need to change up to help stimulate new growth?
  • Try to be specific: This is a decision and an action that I need to make in order to break out a particular stagnate pattern.

Jesus Loves Me


Circa 2001, my Hannah is 3.5 years old here. This was shot just a few days before Spencer was born. 2 great reminders: 1. time goes by so fast – spend it wisely 2. Jesus really does love me and in my weakness, He is strong. Bonus points on the fact that she is so stinkin cute 🙂

A Psalm 22 Year

buhbye2009 ends today….and I’m glad to see it go.  I’ve got to be honest.  It’s been a Psalm 22 year.  I was reading through the Psalm 20’s or so and came across the 22nd.  For me personally and so many others that I know, it has been that type of year.  Would definitely encourage you to check Psalm 22 on your own when you have time, but here are the first two verses that kind of give a glimpse into that chapter:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief. (NLT)

Now, please don’t misunderstand, there have been a number of positive and good times, this past year, and there are so many things that I look at in my life and know that I am a blessed man.  And when considering the plight of others and what they have been through/going through, my junk seems trivial at times.

If you know me, then you know that I am horrible at hiding what’s going on in the inside.  In fact, that’s probably part of why I’m writing this post…that and it is somewhat therapeutic for me.  Had a friend last night even comment to me “it’s good to see you smile” which is code for “what’s your problem been?” 🙂  Life is like that during seasons of our life…that’s true for everyone.  When those times are prolonged for months and years, it weighs on you.  From unrealized dreams to illness and disease, life is tough.

Last January, I wrote down some goals and some dreams….in fact I wrote down 10 specific thoughts under the heading of where I saw us/myself within a year (that would be now).  How many of those dreams were realized? …. 1

So, on to a new year.  I probably will write down some more dreams and goals for the new year.  Some will be the same as last year, some will be new I’m sure.  I don’t have any new answers, insights, resolutions to make or 10 steps to a new and improved me….or you.  I do have some thoughts for any that have had a Psalm 22 year.  Some of these I’ve been processing, some that I’m still trying to “get there”.  These won’t be terribly deep, just real:

  1. You’re not alone…there are others that have been and are going through what you are. I think for me, that has been huge.  Partly because I can look at where they are now and realize that they made it through.  That gives me hope.
  2. My time vs God’s time. My timing is not His timing.  His timing is not my timing.  This is probably the hardest truth to live and work through.  The Bible is full of stories where God would make a promise, a realization of a dream, and the fulfillment of that promise or dream would take years.  His time is not our time.  It doesn’t mean that God’s not at work, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t care, it just means….His timing is not my timing..rinse and repeat.
  3. In the meantime…. If you’re in the area between “the promise and the payoff” of your dream (to quote Furtick), find a place to serve and do that.  Not a place that is your “job” or in your area of core competency necessarily…just a place where you can help meet a need.
  4. Mumble a lot of prayers.  This is a goal, a hope and a need of mine that I’m experiencing and need more of through my day.

Anyway, I really do hope that you have a very happy new year, a great and memorable new year.  Perhaps a Psalm 20 year:

May he grant your heart’s desires and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers. (vv. 5-6, NLT)

AJ Mind Dump

Well, blogging has been sketchy as of late.  Just really been a lot of things here and there going on that have kept me away.  This will probably be pretty random:

  • Loving the fall, even more than usual this year.  I was trying to think of why, and I think I’ve nailed down several reasons.  Last year this time I was feeling incredibly overwhelmed because I was trying to get the remaining media, lighting and other pieces together to help launch the West Campus at Cedar Creek.  That and I was also beginning an online start up side business which I had to lay to rest this summer (that’s another post for another time).  It was a crazy time last year.  Plus, it seems that in this area we’re actually having a fall with some cooler temps here and there this year.  The trees have been pretty brilliant, too, in all their colors.
  • Kind of along with that, I think this year I’ve actually taken the time more to “breathe” and enjoy the fall and Thanksgiving season.  I’ve had a chance to really think through how blessed I am…and we are.  God forgive me for the times I haven’t told You enough just how grateful I am for everyone and everything in my life.
  • Can I be real?  Is it okay here to do that?  This past year has been an incredibly dry time in my life spiritually.  It’s been difficult.  Just been going through a lot on the inside and for a guy that usually wears his emotions on his sleeve, that’s not always a good thing.  I sit here now, not having a whole lot of “answers” about the things I’ve been praying about.  I think that is how life is sometimes, that it is not so cut and dry and we don’t always understand why we go through those times…not on this side of Heaven anyway.  That said, I am hopeful.
  • Been working on several web projects over the past several months.  Here are a few that have gone live: Symphony Orchestra Augusta (previously the Augusta Symphony), Gateway Community Church, relaunch of 4Thought Media and the Swank Co.
  • Feeling like I really want to become an After Effects guru.  I’ve pretty much run the gamut in Final Cut Pro, but am still kind of a novice in After Effects even though I’ve done a good many projects in it.  Looking to spend some time over the next several months learning more.
  • Heading to Macon, GA for Thanksgiving this year.  Haven’t been there in 3 or 4 years so it will be good to see everyone there on my mom’s side of the family.  Looking forward to hanging out with my sister, too.
  • My Christmas List: 1. Gift cards to go shopping for some clothes 2. chocolate 3. a new defensive coordinator and linebacker coach for my DAWGS………..and World Peace.
  • Speaking of the DAWGS, really sad to hear that UGA VII passed away yesterday.  Wasn’t very old at all and died of a heart attack.  Came across this short video put together with Larry Munson below.  The word is now that they won’t get another UGA until after the season.
  • That’s about it for now.


the c word

We had my parents over for dinner tonight and we were discussing how many people that we know that have been impacted by cancer.  Kim had thyroid cancer back several years ago and now two incredible friends of ours (Tom and Angie) are waging their own battles.  Would you take a minute to pray for both Tom and Angie right now and any others around you that are fighting to battle cancer? Here is a quick synopsis of their stories and links to check out:

Tom Lowry – Tom was my youth pastor growing up, gave me my first opportunity in ministry by letting me intern under him in student ministry (what was he thinking? 🙂 ….) and has remained a great friend and encourager to me through the years.  He discipled me and help see me through the “yeah, it’s okay God, I’ve got this on my own” years.  He has always been like a second dad to me.  He had mentioned several weeks ago to me that he would be going through some tests and then this week revealed that the tests would be to test for cancer.  He shared the video below tonight at Curtis Baptist Church in Augusta where he is on staff still (church/place I grew up at).  You can follow Tom on his blog as well as he will be giving updates there:

Tom’s Blog:


Angie Sanders – I first met Bobby and Angie at Lighthouse Baptist Church here in Aiken where I was on staff as the youth pastor.  I suckered them in asked them to become volunteers in our student ministry and later had the privilege to officiate at their wedding.  It has been incredible for me to watch them grow in their faith and how they have become leaders at their church in ministry.  They are a great example of Jesus with skin on: they just love Jesus and love people.  Angie has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has had surgery to remove it and is about to undergo additional chemotherapy.

Angie’s Group on Facebook

AJ Mind Dump

Been a while since I’ve blogged, with any consistancy anyway.  Here’s the latest in the world of Jones:

  • This past Sunday I preached at the Banks Mill campus at CCC.  It had been close to a year since I preached last due mainly to having to focus on multi-site media development.  Was good to speak again.
  • Felt pretty raw at times during the message.  As I shared in my message, it has been brewing for a while out of all that’s been going on in my life.  Came out of some things that I’ve been through….and still going through.
  • Had a chance to speak at Christian Heritage Church in Graniteville last Wednesday to some students there.  Bobby and Angie Sanders are good friends that go there and invited me to speak.  Love them and their heart for students.
  • Whatever happened to lazy summer days?  It has been flat out non stop this summer.
  • We’re about 3 to 4 weeks from launching our second multi-site campus at CCC: Cedar Creek – On The Ridge.  The campus is located in Ridge Spring-Monetta.  They have been meeting in small groups for a while, but we’re about wrap up the building for Sunday worship.  I’m going to post some photos of the new campus later on this week probably.
  • Am seriously ready for football.  UGA starts off the season playing Oklahoma State in Stillwater, OK.  Let the big DAWG eat! 🙂  Can’t wait to be HERE.
  • I think Kim is ready for the kids to go back to school.  Spencer got bored today so he just started breaking the heads off of his army men…yeah, he does best with some structure.  Although, we use to blow them up with fireworks so I can’t really talk.
  • Saddened seeing so many people that I know seem to be struggling in their marriages.  People that you “never would have thought” would have gotten divorced are exactly there.  Been thinking through ways to strengthen my own because of it.  Wes mentioned this book so I grabbed a couple of copies for Kim and I today on Amazon.
  • My A/C in my car doesn’t work except when it wants to.  Not fun when you’re about to hit August.
  • All for now.

but you promised

I can remember saying that growing up to my parents.  During summers when I was a kid, I would often pester my parents to take us somewhere to swim.  I grew up in North Augusta and summers were the same as they are now in this area: brutally hot and humid.  For us it was either one of four places: Misty Waters, Anderson’s, Ascauga Lake or Hammond Hills Pool (the first three are either shut down or non-existent now).  I would remember my parents saying that they would take us “sometime” later on in the week or day, and I would just cling to that hope saying “but you promised” 🙂  Now I’m sometimes on the receiving end of that with my own kids.

I’ve been reading through Romans in my time with God and just came across a passage that just nailed me.  It is out of Romans 4 and is speaking about Abraham’s faith and it was his faith that made him right with God.  God made a promise to Abraham (an old childless man with a barren wife) that he would be the father of “many nations”.  This was a promise that he and Sara had to wait for years to come to pass…but it did.

Speaking of Abraham, in 4:20-21, the Bible says:

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Here are some thoughts and questions that really stuck out to me:

  • For all of us, there is a promise.  A promise of a plan, a will, a purpose for what we are to be about.  (Jeremiah 29:11)
  • There are times when that purpose or plan is very clear.  There are times when it is just a dream, or we can only see “snapshots” of what it might be/could be.  There are times when we have NO clue.
  • That doesn’t change the fact that the promise is still there.
  • Question: Do I believe God will keep His promise? Abraham had to wait 25 years for the promise to be fulfilled (from the time when God first gave him that promise till Isaac’s birth)….now munch on that….25 years.  Yet he still believed.
  • Question: Do i really believe God has the power to make that promise happen? My words say yes, but too often my actions say “I’ve got this God.  Let me help you out on that.”
  • I’m just hoping and praying that the above verses will be true in me.  I’m asking God for that kind of faith that is unwavering to trust his promise and his power.

AJ Mind Dump

So it’s been a while since I posted as I’ve been out of town some.  Here is the latest from the world of Jones:

  • Spent the past week and a half in Hilton Head, SC.  From Sunday to Friday, I was there with Walter and Danny doing some production for a camp called Breakaway.  The rest of the time was spent with my family on some vacation time.
  • Breakaway – This was a our 4th year doing that camp.  Basically our day at breakaway consists of the following: 1. morning worship – where we run cameras, and propresenter for the meeting 2. film seminars – around 10:30 am 3. afternoon – Danny and Walter film recreation (both organized and non) and bring tapes to me where I edit for the the evening highlight reel 4. 6pm – tape student stories/testimonies to be used in the morning worship time 5. around 7:45 – evening worship where we run cameras, and propresenter for the meeting.  Also tape the messages/meeting for later use 6. late night – edit student stories and other pieces for morning/evening the next day.  Somewhere in between, we eat and sleep.  Not a whole lot of beach or pool time in there at all.  Seeing 300+ students encounter Jesus is a VERY cool thing.
  • We usually hit Myrtle Beach with the family but things worked out great to spend our family vacation at HHI.  Was a great change of pace and some much needed R&R.
  • Got to read a little bit and finished up Craig Groeschel’s book IT.  I’ve read a good number of books on leadership.  This one ranks at the top, imo.  His chapter on Vision and the last two chapters should be a must read for every pastor and staff.  Some insightful questions at the end of each chapter that would be great for a leadership team to walk through, too.
  • Got the vacation hangover.  Calls for double doses of coffee.
  • Still have a lot of exciting things heading this way this summer.  Looking forward to it.
  • Biggest takeaway from the book IT was a prayer: God, stretch me, ruin me and heal me.  Amen…..seriously, you need to get that book.
  • Reading through Andy Stanley’s “Making Vision Stick”.  gonna be good, I can already tell.
  • I’m seriously thinking of going to no conferences over the next year.  I might make an exception, though, for Catalyst.  dunno
  • Wrapping up several ecommerce sites over the next few weeks.  Looking forward to seeing them go live.
  • Waiting on God’s timing is TOUGH!  Possibly the hardest thing I’ve had to process through in my life.  I’m not a very patient person, you can ask my wife.  Once I get an idea, a thought, a passion or new direction, usually my immediate next thought is “okay, let’s roll on that…” Can you relate to that?
  • all for now.