aj mind dump

Here’s an update on things from the world of Jones:

  • I’m about to enter my 4th full week of being on my own in my businesses.  I’ve had several people ask me “how’s it going?”  It’s going well as we’re still adapting to the new setup.  I’ve been spending the first several weeks beginning to network more and do a lot of laying the ground work for business down the road.  Still a ways to go on that, but I think that it will pay off.  Not huge on the cash flow end of things but a necessity in building for the future.
  • The rest of the time has been spent on finishing up on some existing projects that got put on the backburner because of the time demands in transitioning out of Cedar Creek.  In other words, I’ve been playing catchup on those items.  We’ve wrapped several projects this week so I see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I’ll be posting about those here and on my facebook/twitter accounts.
  • We’re also starting to piece together our video production equipment for shoots.  The next step after that is to develop some script ideas and begin to move them from ideas to execution.
  • I know it’s early on and there will be times where it will be difficult, but as I’ve been working for myself over the past month, I have no doubt that we made the right decision.  I’ve been putting in a lot of hours (some late), trying to network more, dreaming a lot, working to meet deadlines….. and I’m really loving what I’m doing.  It’s been a long time since I could honestly say that.  I’m very thankful for that.
  • The housing market in Aiken, like most places I believe, is REALLY slow right now so not a whole lot of action on our home selling.  October offers a little more promise so we’ll see how things go.  Really looking forward to selling our home and moving into that next phase of our ongoing transition 🙂
  • Totally random: we’ve been doing the song below at church for the last month or so.  Has really spoken to me and where we are.  Good stuff.
  • Excited for the days ahead.


AJ Wired Mind Dump

Here’s the latest in the world of Jones:

  • So, it’s been a little over a week since we made our Big News public (see below).  It really was a weight off to make that public.
  • We told the staff last Tuesday afternoon at staff lunch.  That was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.  I told them I would have to read the letter to them or I wouldn’t get through it.  I was doing okay until I hit the the thank you’s….then it went straight to ugly crying LOL.  When you’ve invested so much of your life in a place and had some incredible people invest in yours, it’s incredibly emotional making the break.  It was a hard day but a good day.
  • The reaction we’ve gotten from most people has been very positive.  In fact, no one has been negative…to our faces anyway 😉
  • Since I met with Phillip in May, I’ve had a few “What have we done moments”.  Most of those are times when I briefly forget that God’s got this.  The fact of the matter is that if our security is in anything other than Christ, it is misplaced…even for those that work for a church full time.
  • Found out in my research for getting ready to make the jump to being self employed that more businesses are started during economic downturns than any other time.  For us, we’re not starting from scratch but rather building on what we’ve been developing over the last decade.
  • Wow, is this is a bad housing market or what?  For sellers anyway.  I’ve been surprised that we haven’t had an offer yet on our home, although in this economy it’s not a total shock.  The only thing that concerns me is taking advantage of the low interest rates right now.  Just hope we don’t go to buy a home and the rates have jumped up.
  • I think as I look ahead, one of the biggest challenges is which projects to begin with, other than the current and ongoing work we have with our clients.  I’ve also been thinking a lot about what my work week will look like.
  • My hope is to establish an office presence in Aiken (which that’s looking good right now) and then also in the Augusta/North Augusta area.  We’ll see what happens with that.
  • I’m looking forward to football and fall weather but that has been on my mind a lot less than in previous years.  September 1st is approaching fast.
  • That’s all for now. l8r

One in the crowd

I was reading this morning in Numbers 13 & 14 about the spies that went out to spy on the land before the Israelites invaded the land God had told them to possess.  What a great case study on fear, trust and how lies and fear can infect and paralyze a whole community.  As I read this story, this thought hit me:

God, help me and my family trust you even when thousands around me choose not to.

AJ Mind Dump

So it’s been a little bit since my previous post.  Wanted to give you a quick update in the world of Jones:

  • As you can see in the post below, our house is on the market.  It has now been listed for a little over a month.  We’ve had a good bit of traffic, especially over the last several weeks.  Selling a house is WORK!  Here’s hoping that July is our month.
  • Kim started a job working for the Aiken County Government last month.  She’s really enjoying what she’s doing so that is a plus!  While it’s been an adjustment for everyone, the family seems to be doing well with it.
  • We took our family vacation earlier than usual this summer.  It was really kind of an odd one in that Kim was only able to be there for about 3 days before having to head back to work.  So, for much of the week it was me, my kids and my parents.  It was good to get away, and I’m already wanting to hit the beach again soon…maybe a day trip to Kiawah Island in July?
  • This is about the time of year I start seriously craving some college football…and the cooler temps with it!  Don’t know how my DAWGS are going to do this year.  Tons of potential there, but you have to get it done on the field.  Another year like last year and there will be some changes at the top.  Just the nature of things.
  • Really excited about the direction that Alive Media and 4Thought Media are going.  Got some cool projects that I’m working on right now and some exciting things coming down the road.
  • Speaking of projects, one of the things I’m wanting to do more of is videography for events and weddings.  If you know of someone that is getting hitched in July or August, let me know.  I’m looking for a couple of weddings that I can video and edit to expand the portfolio, and it won’t cost them a dime.  Hit the contact me for details or message me on Twitter/Facebook.
  • Kim and I were talking today and she said, “Can you believe that in two years Spencer will be in middle school?”  I about fell out.
  • Well, that’s all for now.  l8r

I’m back

It’s been almost 7 months since I wrote my last blog post and shut down my blog for a while.  I shut down the blog for a while for several reasons.  Possibly the main one reason is that I was just at a place where things just weren’t going all that great, and I needed a break.  The last thing I wanted my blog to be was a repository of negativity, and I just didn’t feel like I had much to bring to the table, if I’m being honest.  Being real is a big deal to me, but there comes a point where if we’re not careful, I think it can be toxic.  Not sure if that makes any sense or not.

Some things are different now, some things are not, but where I am at in my mind is a better place.  I’m excited for the days ahead and so I felt it was time to jump back on the blogging wagon.  I started noticing that I would have blog posts and ideas pop up that I wanted to put out there, so that was a clue to get back at it, too.

You’ll notice that some posts will be longer while others will be a video clip, photo or a short thought.  Who knows, might even begin to do a video blog here and there.  Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

How can I discover God’s will for my life?

“What should I do for a living?  Should I marry her?  Should I move to that town?  Should I take that job?  Which school should I go to?  What is my destiny?  God, what is your plan for my life?  Just show me.” Ever prayed any of those?  God’s will, God’s plan.

This has been on my radar over the last several weeks through conversations, blogs, tweets and such.  I think these questions are normal.  I’ve actually been digging through some of this over the last several months on my own.  I think at the heart of it all, it boils down to these questions:

  1. Does God have a specific plan/will for my life?
  2. What is God’s plan/will for my life?
  3. Will God show me what his will/plan is for my life?

Here are my thoughts:
Does God have a specific plan and purpose for your life? I believe so.  Does He mean for you to discover this ahead of time? No, I don’t believe so.

There is a teaching that has been around for a while.  It’s this idea of discovering God’s will like it is this nebulous, entity floating around and it is our job to track it down, to find it and embrace it.  It’s what I call “The Disney Blueprint”: we’re waiting on the fairytale.  My experience is that just leads to doubt, inaction, confusion and pain.  Or like one speaker I heard put it, “we treat it like a choose your own adventure” book: If you choose option A, “congrats you’re in God’s will”.  Choose option B, and “Oh, so sorry, you missed the will of Gob by choosing b.  You chose the nose dive off a cliff for your life.  You’re toast and are done”.

So, the question remains: How do I live in the will of God?  That’s a long answer, but in short, you do what you know is God’s will.  God’s will is for you and I to grow in the likeness of Jesus and He promises to work all things for your good. Seek to live in obedience to Jesus and develop the heart and mind of Christ.(Matthew 6:33, Romans 8:28, 1 Thessalonians 4:3).  As we do that, He promises to be with us.  I’m not saying that I don’t believe in Providence.  I’m saying that if we knew the whole story ahead of time, it would not be a life of faith, trust and holiness.

Some Must Reads/Listens
Couple of resources that I came across that are food for thought:

  • Just Do Something – If I had a student or friend that came up to me and asked, “How do I discover God’s will for my life?”, I would immediately point them toward to a message entitled “Just Do Something” by Kevin DeYoung.  One of the best messages that I’ve heard on God’s will/plan, bar none.  Highly recommend it.  A great listen.  He also has a book entitled the same.
  • Donald Miller’s post “Does God Have a Specific Plan For Your Life? Probably Not” While I don’t agree with premise that God doesn’t have a specific plan for our life, there are some really good thoughts in his post.  I think for some we get so focused on God’s plan and purpose that we are scared or even forget to dream, take a chance and live.  Particularly love this quote: “But if He is setting a box of crayons down in front of you (a box of crayons called life) then by all means draw.”

who do you trust?

This morning I was reading in John and came across these verses that really stuck out to me.  It was early in Jesus’ ministry when these verses occurred:

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many people saw the miraculous signs he was doing and believed in his name.24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all men.25 He did not need man’s testimony about man, for he knew what was in a man. John 2: 23-25

Placing your trust in someone else is a scary proposition.  It leaves you vulnerable when you do trust in someone.

It reminds me of a conversation that I had with one of my mentors early on in ministry.  To this day I can’t remember what exactly we were discussing, but I do remember it had something to do with talking to other people about your life, struggles and what all is going on on the inside.  I’m pretty easy to read as far as what’s going on in the inside so maybe that was it 🙂  What he said to me took me back: “Alan, don’t cast your pearls before swine.”  “What?!  Are you calling my friends pigs?”, I thought.  Now, of course he was quoting Matthew 7:6.  I had just never heard it in that context before.  The point he was making was a very good one and one that I’ve taken to heart to this day: Be careful who you trust the things that are deep inside and important to.

Personally, I really value when people are honest, real and authentic.  And being transparent has its time and place, too.  That said, it doesn’t mean that we should entrust ourselves to everyone.  Being “real” doesn’t mean being careless with what’s going on in our lives.  I think that’s what Jesus was saying here.  He understood that the same crowd that was believing in Him now would one day be the same crowd chanting “Crucify, Crucify!”  My take on it is if you have 2 or 3 people in your life that you can be transparent with, real and even accountable to about the good and the bad, you’re blessed.