Friday, December 29, 2006

Different Age. Same Great God.

God never ceases to amaze me.

So a few weeks back I got a call from an older man named Bill who got my name and number from someone who worked the Walk to Emmaus weekend that I attended in October. (Just FYI in case you haven’t been following my Blog, the Walk to Emmaus was a three-day spiritual retreat that I attended back in October)

Bill attended the Walk in 1996 and he lives here in Atlanta. He is 67 years old, a former Marine who fought in Okinawa during WWII, and someone who only began his walk with Christ about ten years ago. He called because there are not that many people who have been on the Walk who actually live in Atlanta and he wanted to introduce himself and see if we could meet and chat about what God is up to in our lives.

Pretty cool I thought because one of my main prayers each day is that God will give me opportunities to be involved in the lives of others and this seemed like an obvious answer to that prayer.

Anyway, we met for dinner last week before Christmas and it was too interesting of an experience not to Blog about. After I very briefly shared with him how I got to where I am today I just sat back and listened to him tell his story. I did a little talking and a lot of listening. One of the things I have not had enough of is time spent with an older person who is a Christian. Most of the people that I share my faith with have tended to be people in my age range. It was very refreshing to chat with someone who is around 36 years older than me. And even though Bill has only been seriously pursuing God for ten years he had some great wisdom and just a lot of life experiences.

I felt this whole “respect my elders” vibe and I just wanted to listen to him and try to learn something. One of the biggest things that moved me was that he was very emotional about what God had done/is doing in his life. Honestly, there were at least four times during dinner when he began to cry. It was a very surreal experience for me. I couldn’t ever remember a time when I had been out at a restaurant with a significantly older person who was crying.

During my conversation with Bill I also became very thankful and grateful of the fact that I began my walk with Christ when I did. I am glad I was 27 instead of 57. Yeah, I know it probably could have been 17 but still. Our chat also reminded me that it is never too late to turn to God. And although I didn’t really feel comfortable asking him deep questions about regret and lost time in his life I could tell that he wishes he could turn back some time. Who doesn’t wish that when the whole relationship with God thing kicks in? I often wonder what the last ten years of my life would have looked like if my faith had been strong enough to handle being a freshman sitting in a dorm room at UGA.

I guess what I really liked about my time with Bill was that I made a potential new friend. And I don’t have too many friends above the age of 60 I might add.

I hope someone considers it a cool thing to have me as a friend when I am 60 years old.

And I hope McDonald’s still has that senior discount on coffee.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wonder Years

A few notes from my trip to Clinton, Mississippi – the town I grew up in:

  • I spent my first 15 years in Mississippi and my most recent 15 years in Georgia (Yes, I’m almost 30. Shut it.) Clinton/everything else I saw in Mississippi seems to have taken a downward turn commerce wise in the last 15 years. A lot of the businesses that were there when I was growing up are closed. And there is not like newer more up to date businesses in their place either. I am talking about where there used to be a grocery store there is now a Big Lots. Ouch. Although there was a Starbucks by the interstate of course. So maybe it’s not all a downward turn.
  • The roads are still bad
  • The girls are still beautiful
  • I went to a candlelight service on Christmas Eve at the church I grew up in – First Baptist Church of Clinton. That was cool. I couldn’t resist walking the halls to see some of the old classrooms that I sat in when I was little and it was especially memorable to see one of the first playgrounds that I ever remember playing on still there in the same old spot. And I also saw the street by the church that I ran across after letting go of my mom’s hand one morning after church when I was real little. She said she blistered my backside for that. And she also said I never did it again.
  • I also drove by the old junior high school that I attended before we moved to Georgia. It is not in use anymore although the buildings are still there…I saw the classroom where I took my first algebra class and the band hall where I played my first note on a trumpet.
  • It was great to see some members of my family that I have not seen in several years. Especially the cousins that are a little closer to my age who I really remember spending the most time with when I was younger. One of my cousins is getting married this summer, one is at the University of Memphis getting a masters in Directing and one is married and living in Scotland getting his masters in theology from the University of Aberdeen. It was good to catch up with them.
  • Overall, everything I saw just seemed smaller and older. I love it how everything seems larger than life through a kid’s eyes.

It is funny to wonder where I would be today if I had stayed in Mississippi and my dad had NOT relocated to Georgia in the summer of 1992. I probably would have gone to Ole Miss or LSU. But the whole arts marketing thing. Who knows? I complain about Atlanta not supporting the arts I can’t imagine promoting theatre in Jackson, Mississippi.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas. Warren, do you still have that same look on your face?

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Feliz Navidad

I am at Chris and Melissa's tomorrow and then I am having Christmas with the family on Saturday (I can't wait to watch my nieces and nephew open their presents). I will be traveling to Mississippi on Sunday with my parents for a few days to visit my mom's family there.

I haven't been back to Mississippi in several years so I am looking forward to seeing some family members that I have not seen in awhile. I need to go and spend some time with them since it has been so long since I have seen them and since I might be moving sometime this next year.

I wish everyone safe travels and a very Merry Christmas.

God bless us everyone!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Home Alone

So this afternoon I was flippin the TV back and forth between The Lord of the Rings marathon on TNT and Home Alone on TBS. What a coincidence that Home Alone is on today because it’s something that I have been thinking about lately.

Quick side note before we begin - I have NEVER lived alone in my entire life.

My roommate is currently courting a young lass and the result for me has been more and more time to myself. I know. Boo freakin Hoo. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for it and I am so happy for him/them. But the periodic evenings alone & phone calls in the other room have given me time to think about the whole “never lived by myself” thing.

Recently I think I have started to get a small taste of what Kevin (Played by the incomparable Macaulay Culkin) felt like during those few days of aloneness.

Growing up, all the way through college, and through the present day (almost seven years after college) I have always had a roommate. I can’t decide if that is weird or normal. I haven’t taken a poll or anything. Sure there have been stretches of time alone for various reasons (trips, house-sitting, etc.) but not long stretches of time with no end in sight.

My conclusion?

I am actually glad that I am having some nights alone right now because I came to the realization a few weeks back that there is a strong chance (pending the upcoming conference, God working behind the scenes, etc.) that I might move to South America and live by myself. For the first time EVER.

Why such a big jump at one time I ask myself? Why can’t I like move to Smyrna and live by myself there first to warm up. Why have my first experience of living alone be in another country and culture where I might know five people total. I mean, talk about OTP.

I can’t decide whether this scares me or excites me even more about the prospect of moving. But it is certainly interesting to think about. I am just going to chalk it up to God preparing me for whatever situation He is sending me into.

T-minus three weeks until that conference mentioned above by the way…

Friday, December 15, 2006

No Alarm Morning

I had a funny conversation with a friend tonight about a "no alarm morning". You know...those mornings when you do not have to set an alarm of any kind. It came up because I so do NOT have a "no alarm morning" tomorrow. I have to be up at 5:30 a.m. to head to the theatre and get Scrooge to our final Christmas Carol promotional appearance by 7 a.m.

My friend mentioned that tomorrow is a "no alarm morning" for her. Not only did it make me jealous but it reminded me how much I love those mornings and how few and far between those mornings have been for me lately.

Since I volunteer early on Sunday mornings and there is that whole job thing Monday - Friday, Saturdays are really my only shot at "no alarm mornings" these days.

I hate that tomorrow is not one.

Monday, December 11, 2006


So one of the books I read recently was a book by Andy Stanley called Visioneering – God’s Blueprint for developing and maintaining vision. It was recommended to me that I read this book while I am in the “dreaming” phase.

Here is an excerpt from the intro…
“If I were to ask you to describe how you picture your life in ten years, chances are you could paint a fairly clear picture. No doubt you could outline a financial profile. You could describe what you hope to achieve relationally. You have some idea of where you want to be professionally. In other words, you would be able to look beyond what is and paint a picture of what could be – and in some cases what should be – true of your life. That’s vision.

A clear vision, along with the courage to follow through, dramatically increases your chances of coming to the end of your life, looking back with a deep abiding satisfaction, and thinking, I did it. I succeeded. I finished well. My life counted.

Without a clear vision, odds are you will come to the end of your life and wonder. Wonder what you could have done – what you should have done. And like so many, you may wonder if your life really mattered at all.”

Do you stare up at the ceiling at night and wonder about this sometimes like I do? I confess that I am having difficulty painting a picture of what my life will be ten years from now. Honestly, I am having a hard time painting a picture of what my life will be ONE year from now…

I tried to think about what vision I have had for my life over the last almost seven years since college. And I really think my vision was to become the best arts marketer possible. It was definitely a career-focused vision though. I wanted to tackle the arts industry and climb the ladder of success. And on a certain level that is happening. I have only had two jobs in my twenties and I feel like I have been successful in both. And God has blessed me with an unbelievable mentor who has groomed me, positioned me and shaped me into the business person that I am today. I feel like I could be very successful continuing in this industry with God’s blessing of course.

Now. I have no idea. I think the vision I dream about now has something to do with helping kids on the streets of South America who start out in life without ANY opportunity for success. Kids who have no one to fight for them. Kids who have the odds stacked against them. How? Again, no idea. But it is comforting in Andy’s book to read that you usually realize the “what” part of a vision before you realize the “how.” That’s nice. I got time on that “how” part.

I am glad that I read this book during my three month "waiting period" prior to my SAMS conference in January because the book actually addresses the wait time.

Andy talks about how “This sense of “time is awasting” is the very thing that compels people to move out too soon. The assumption is, since we aren’t moving on, nothing’s going on.”

He also says that three things happen during this wait time:

The vision matures in us – time allows us to distinguish between ideas and visions worth throwing the weight of our life behind.

We mature in preparation for the vision – the tendency is to assume that since I know what I am to do, I’m ready to do it. But the two don’t always coincide.

God is at work behind the scenes preparing the way – God’s vision for your life is much bigger than you. You don’t know what God is up to behind the scenes of your life. It is no accident you are where you are.

When I stare up at the ceiling at night I think I just want God to be proud of me. I know He loves me and I love Him but I want Him to smile when someone mentions my name in Heaven.

I would love for Him to bring out the photo album and be like “Check Curt out. That’s my kid. Look at him go.”

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The # 1 question people ask me…

…is surprisingly not, “Has anybody ever told you that you look like Dale Jr.?”

It is something like…

“So Curt, dating anybody these days?”
“Who you dating these days?”
“Are you seeing anybody?”

Or one of my personal favorites…
“So Curt, who is the flavor of the week?”

Or that one I hear in my head sometimes…
“Wow Curt, almost 30 and you are STILL single? What is wrong with you? Loser.”

Anyway, I guess it is normal for single people to get asked this question. Especially as we get older. Makes sense. Come to think of it though - It is usually non-single people who ask me this. Single people rarely ask. It’s like the non-single people have to look out for us single folks and check up on us from time to time to see if we are making any progress towards the blissful land of non-singleness.

Ready for my standard response?
“You know, nobody right now. It’s funny, I just haven’t been thinking much about that lately. I don’t really worry about it. If it happens, it happens.”

Or my NEW favorite response...
“Nobody right now. I don’t really have much desire to pursue a relationship right now given the fact that I might be moving within a year. I mean…God is really going to have to hit me over the head with a relationship to knock me off the course of this missionary thing.”

Did you hear that God? Did you read my Blog today? You really better throw a relationship my way IF YOU WANT ME TO STAY IN THE USA?

What was that? I can’t play the “I’m going to move and become a missionary” card in order to get you to give me a relationship faster? Oh, ok.

All kidding aside. Most days I seriously go through the whole day without the thought of being in a relationship even crossing my mind. Don’t get me wrong…(And Warren can attest to this) I still love girls (especially Carrie Underwood right now) and if God blesses me with a relationship…Rock on. But the ironic thing is that somehow through the course of not really thinking about girls/relationships as much, I have actually begun to love girls even more.

It’s funny how girls become the most beautiful creatures in the world when you actually stop looking at them and turn your eyes towards God. I would have never believed this true unless I had tried it. It’s as if God gave me some new kind of Acuvue contact lenses and then when I turned back and looked I was like “Wow. Dude. Nice job.” And I really love it how after God made the entire creation, the ultimate picture of perfection, it wasn’t complete until she showed up.

To put it simply - God has just turned down the volume in this area of my life. It just doesn’t stress me out as much as it used to. He fulfills me. He sustains me. He has given me more peace, joy and contentment that I have ever felt in my entire life.

As someone reminded me of recently…you just need to focus your eyes on God and run after Him as fast as you can. Then one day you might look beside you and see someone running with you towards that same goal.

I like the sound of that. Stay classy San Diego.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Here comes the big parade

Very cool experience this past Saturday as I took Scrooge to appear in the annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Holiday Parade. This was our third year to have Scrooge in the parade. The first year I actually dressed up and walked the route with Scrooge and passed out candy. (I had never had so many kids get mad at me before in my life because you can’t physically give candy to every kid…and they don’t like that too much) Last year I rode in the car because I was having knee problems and this year I paid someone to dress up and pass out flyers down the parade route while Scrooge road in a 1976 Rolls Royce. (One thing I have really learned during my years so far in the working world – sometimes it’s just better to pay someone else to do something.)

And I have been in plenty of parades over the years doing the whole marching band thing but it is a totally different experience walking by yourself down a parade route. More eyes and way more surreal. Anyway, the weather was outstanding and here are a few photos to mark the occasion…

Scrooge and the Georgia cheerleaders...GO DAWGS!

Scrooge and Hairy...

Continuing the Cheerleader about the Falcons Cheerleaders?

It's not every day you get your picture made with a llama...

Scrooge says Bah HumBug to Santa...

Scrooge with a Panda and a Hillary Clinton "Big Head" - the other side of her sign read "I wan't to be President again"

Ok. So I had to try and get one artistic shot in there. I love the symmetry of this one...I wanted him right in the middle of that Publix turkey balloon...

Oh, and by the way. Children's Healthcare decided to ban passing out candy this year. They said it makes kids fat.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Invisible Children

I just recently started researching UNICEF. Do you know about them?

The United Nations Children’s Fund

Here is an excerpt from their website:

We believe that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. We believe that we can, together, advance the cause of humanity.

We advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.

For someone who has a heart for children, I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of UNICEF’s website. They are huge. One thing that I downloaded from them that I am hoping to read is a 150 page report that they produce every year called “The State of the World’s Children”. I need to print it out but it is not an easy thing to print out 150 page reports. That’s some serious paper. Anyway, the theme for the 2006 report is “Excluded and Invisible” and here is the opening paragraph of the report…

Millions of children make their way through life impoverished, abandoned, uneducated, malnourished, discriminated against, neglected and vulnerable. For them, life is a daily struggle to survive. Whether they live in urban centres or rural outposts, they risk missing out on their childhood – excluded from essential services such as hospitals and schools, lacking the protection of family and community, often at risk of exploitation and abuse. For these children, childhood as a time to grow, learn, play and feel safe is, in effect, meaningless.

[Curt’s heart breaks]

[He composes himself and continues Blog post]

When I began about a year or so ago trying to identify what really frustrates me about this world, children who have no chance, who are abused and who have no one to stand up for them kept coming to my mind. I really started praying about how God might use me to join Him in what He is currently doing all over this world to help these kids. And please don’t think that by me potentially moving I believe that those kids only exist outside the U.S.

Kids in need are everywhere and they always will be. Even on Ralph McGill Blvd where I live. I just feel that the kids who need ME the most might be somewhere else.

It was also an interesting thing when I checked the “Happy Childhood” box in my Life History Inventory workbook and thought about all of kids in this world who can’t check that box. Maybe they can’t even check the “I HAD a childhood” box. Happy or not.

I mean…I might have had difficulty connecting with my parents but at least I HAVE parents. And those parents even took me to Cracker Barrel on Turkey Day.

Millions of children in this world don’t even have parents to NOT connect to.
And they certainly don’t have a Cracker Barrel.

Anyway, the UNICEF report is extremely rich with info and mostly deals with social issues that I can’t quite wrap my head around yet but it is very interesting to see Bolivia’s status as being South America’s poorest country validated in the stats.

All I am saying is that I am getting to a place in my life where I want to spend everyday of my life actively working on a problem that really frustrates me. I want the least amount of regret possible when I get the old “Game Over” screen. I want to be able to look up at my ceiling at night and know that I am exactly where God wants and needs me to be, doing exactly what He created me to do.

Don’t get me wrong T…I love your condo.

I think I just need a new ceiling.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Here’s to you…

…Mr. Multimodal Life History Inventory.

You know…I really believe that self evaluation on a certain level is a very healthy thing. But self evaluation to the level of the Multimodal Life History Inventory is just down right crazy.

As part of this whole missionary candidacy process I have to complete a few psychological assessments. The rather weighty packet was delivered in the mail about a week ago.

So step one is a 14 page workbook called the Multimodal Life History Inventory.

Some sample life history that I have to inventory...

State in your own words the nature of your main problems
Give an impression of the atmosphere of the home you grew up in
Describe your mom’s/dad’s personality and your relationship with each
Did you feel loved and respected by your parents?
If you could have two wishes, what would they be?
List your five main fears
Describe your image of a completely “safe” place
What do you consider to be your craziest thought or idea (I don’t think taking the Multimodal Life History Inventory counts…)
One of the ways people hurt me is x
My best friend thinks I am x

Good, I get to skip the whole spouse section (Just fyi...there is no “lack of spouse” section)

This thing is intense. AND after I complete the Multimodal Life History Inventory I have to sit down and complete 4-5 hours worth of other psychological tests. The roommate has to monitor me from the other room. After I complete all tests, I mail them in to the psychologist, we have a 50-60 minute phone chat and then he passes the results onto the missionary society.

I think they are just trying to make sure that I am not an axe murderer. And as overwhelming as this life history inventory appears, it is actually kinda helpful.

Right off the bat I was able to confirm with pretty strong clarity that I never really connected with my family, especially my parents, I hate criticism and I don’t really take care of my body that well (ie eat well and exercise regularly)

So in honor of Thanksgiving let’s all raise a glass…

...Here's to you Mr. Multimodal Life History Inventory.

Monday, November 20, 2006

I do

I attended a wedding this past Saturday for one of the guys in my small group from church. I haven’t attended too many weddings in recent memory but every time I do I always catch myself longing to be in a relationship. I also catch myself trying to locate a single girl at the wedding who is ALSO longing to be in a relationship. Don't hate.

Just had a thought…if I’m a dude and weddings make me want to be in a relationship, what do the single girls feel at weddings? It’s probably not that generic. I’m sure both guys and gals feel differently at weddings because we are all so different.

Anyway, being married would certainly be cool. I know I don’t have a right to get married. I mean…I don’t think God owes me a wife for some reason.

But if He chooses to bless me with marriage that would still be sweet.

Anyway, the wedding this weekend got me thinking about other things/situations that make we want to be in a relationship. Here are a few…

Wedding Receptions
First Dances at Wedding Receptions
Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays
10 minutes before Midnight on New Years Eve
Country Music
Sunday Afternoons
Between 6 – 8 p.m. during the week after work
Road Trips/Traveling
Game Days
House sitting
Going to the theatre
Laguna Beach Season Finale

Anybody with me on this?

Friday, November 17, 2006

What a difference a window makes

So the Woodruff Arts Center is going through some major renovations right now. The administrative staff for the Arts Center, Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony will all be moving up to the same floor. Welcome to cubeland. But the renovation is going to take about five months so this weekend the Alliance administration is moving across the street to a temporary office space for the duration of the renovation.

So for the first time in my working life I will have….
yes, you guessed it…a window.

Sham on.

I can’t wait until Monday. I have those Christmas Eve butterflies and I seriously think I might have trouble sleeping on Sunday night. I am going to wake my parents up at 4 a.m. on Monday and tell them it is time to go and open my new office.

Ok. That’s probably taking it a little too far. But it’s funny how an office with a window gets me just as excited these days as finding the Millennium Falcon under the tree did in those days.

Anywho, the whole natural light thing will be such a welcome change. After the “just staring out the window” phase wears off, I am really hoping our new digs affect all our moods in a positive way. The packing process has also reminded me how great it feels to just throw things away sometimes.

I stopped by the space today to get a sneak preview. And I can see it already. I am going to be so spoiled and I am not going to want to leave.

Movin’ on up like George and Weezy…

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dare You to Move

So tonight I saw Switchfoot in concert at The Roxy in Buckhead. Great live show. I don’t go to many concerts these days but they put on a solid show. I really like their sound.

Various Switchfoot songs have had an impact on me over the last year or so and one song in particular.

I’ll never forget riding in a bus through the streets of Cochabamba, Bolivia when this tune came on my ipod. I was watching all the faces in the crowd on the streets and listening to the lyrics. It kinda brought the whole mission trip thing into a whole new light for me. It was one of the first moments on the trip when I genuinely thought…“You know? I could really see myself living here.”

And by observing those faces in the crowd I truly felt like I had been welcomed to the planet.

WARNING: Lyrics Ahead

Dare You to Move
Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here
Everybody's watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistence
The tension is here
Between who you are and you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

Sunday, November 12, 2006


So I bought my plane ticket to Pennsylvania this past week and I am set to attend the Crossroads conference with the South American Missionary Society in January.

Two months and counting.

After attending this conference which consists of education and various interviews/consultations I will be notified if I am selected as an official missionary candidate with SAMS. At that point, if I accept the invitation, I will hit the road and write letters to tell my story and try to raise funds. I will also finalize my area of placement/length of stay.

Once I raise the proper funds, get all the medical stuff taken care of (physical/immunizations) and get the final clearance from SAMS I can leave for my first “tour of duty”.

Lots of questions will be answered at the conference and after my time with SAMS in January I should have a good idea as to whether or not SAMS is the right fit for me.

SAMS mailed me their missionary handbook which I am studying before attending the conference. I have been glancing through the handbook and joking with Warren that two sections keep jumping off the page at me…

Under no circumstances will the Society pay any ransom for the release of a SAMS missionary, or anyone being held hostage who is in any way related to the Society.


No one may leave for overseas service without having a current will. Copies of important documents must be left with the next of kin.

Pretty standard stuff I’m sure. But it’s still weird to see it in writing. Maybe I could do a video will. That would be cool.

Good thing my bro is a lawyer so he can help me with that will.

And good thing my mom is not reading this.

Friday, November 10, 2006


New Blog links alert in the “Blogs, Blogs, Blogs” section. JBurns is a very cool and extremely funny kat in my small group from church who just recently started a Blog. Happy Blogging Bro.

And my friend Yer, the girl who taught me all my dance moves AND gave me my love for thrift store shopping, is getting PAID now by Citysearch NYC to Blog about Fashion. You rock girl and I miss you. Thanks for not making ME pay for all that fashion advice…

Meanwhile in other Blog news…

I just spent two very looooooong days in Pasadena by way of LA. Several meetings, a 2 hour and 40 minute musical and a 3 hour time change in two days has made for one tired Curt. I still haven’t fully recovered yet and I should be in bed but I need my Blog fix.

It was a very brief trip to the City of Angels and it was nice to finally see exit signs for and glimpses of all the places that I heard those west coast rappers rap about…Crenshaw Blvd, Inglewood, etc…I wanted to go to Compton but we just didn’t have time.

And it was cool to see the actual Hollywood sign up on the hill too…you know the place where Dr. Evil had his lair in Goldmember? That was delightful.

Pasadena kinda felt like what I think stepping into a TV show would feel like.

Sister Act is a work in progress but it is a very entertaining and fun new musical that I think will definitely have a strong response here in the ATL. Mission accomplished on that front.

I wanted to call Chick-fil-A and ask them to hurry up and expand there western markets. I’m seriously addicted. You don’t really know sometimes how addicted you are to something until you physically CAN’T have that thing.

And why didn’t somebody warn me about all the Asian and Latina girls in California??? Geez. I was totally not expecting to have to deal with those weaknesses on this trip.

And then there was the Southern brunette girl weakness on the return trip on MARTA when I had a nice conversation with a girl from Baton Rouge by way of LSU who is in town for three days for a teachers’ conference. I had serious butterflies when this girl walked up. I haven’t felt those in a while but it was nice. It’s nice to know that the chemistry and magnetism stuff still exists out there in the streets.

I think we should all be reminded of that feeling every so often.

Thanks God for reminding me how butterflies feel and thanks for getting me back home safely.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I’ve got to pack and go to bed. I’m up at 5 a.m. to head to the airport to catch a flight to LAX. Long day tomorrow of meetings and seeing Sister Act – The Musical at Pasadena Playhouse.

I’m playing the “sleep” mix on ye olde ipod as soon as I hit my seat.
(Thanks for the tip T)
Back late on Wednesday night and back at work on Thursday morning.

I’ll give The Terminator your best.

I’ll be back.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

One of those moments

I can’t NOT blog about this.
This is one of those x moments I wrote about the other day.

So yesterday I took my five year old niece Carolyn to see Disney’s Aladdin at the Alliance. My parents hung out in the lobby with my six month old nephew while Carolyn and I bought a Sprite to share and went in to see the one hour show.

It was great. We really do have an amazing children’s theatre. And my date and I shared a few cute moments that I just have to mention.

The first moment was when she leaned over to me and whispered that she had finally decided what she wanted to be when she grew up. Oh man. This is priceless. This is just one of those moments that you hope for. A great uncle moment for me. When I asked her what she wanted to be she told me she wanted to be someone who wrote the words that appear in books. Oh, I writer I said. That’s wonderful. She said that she was just working on writing sentences now but we both agreed that one day those sentences would probably turn into stories.

It was just a great reminder of the dreams we have when we are young. We all had some dream of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Mine was to be a professional soccer player. It’s just unfortunate how culture and life in general have a way of taking us down other paths than what we had hoped for when WE were five years old.

I am going to remind her of that writer thing when she is older.

The second moment happened when I asked her if she had seen the movie Aladdin alot. She said that of course she had seen the movie alot, duh. I asked her if she had ever seen it LIVE ON STAGE and she said no, but she said that TV is better.

TV is better?

Being someone who promotes live theatre for a living I couldn’t resist this opportunity…Why do you think TV is better I asked. TV moves quicker, it’s faster she said. You don’t have to wait.

You don’t have to wait.

Wow. I think that speaks volumes about that box we watch. I am not saying that we shouldn’t watch the box at all, I’m just saying that maybe we should turn it off once in a while and see what happens.

Well, we laughed and laughed and enjoyed the show and when it was over I asked her… So, do you STILL think TV is better? She shook her head no.

Sweet…score one for live theatre.

But then she said…TV is still ok though.

Of course…I said.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Six kids. Two months. One chaperone.

Just a quick plug for a new Blog that we have at the Alliance Theatre. For our upcoming holiday production of A Christmas Carol we thought a Scrooge Blog would be too obvious so we decided to have our child chaperone track his experience over the next two months of making sure the six kids we have in the show (including Tiny Tim) get to the stage for their cues.

It should make for some very interesting and funny stories.
Check it out HERE if you get a chance over the next two months.

Rehearsal for the show just started this past Friday.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Dude, where's my Curt?

I have found myself thinking this thought lately…

“I might not be here for X next year.”

A few things that have been “X” recently:
My Birthday or anybody’s birthday for that matter
Opening Day of Georgia Football
Any special event for my nieces or nephew
Thanksgiving Dinner with the family
The noises Warren makes (He has actually belched three times WHILE I am sitting here writing this post)

I think the “I might not be here for X next year” thought is turning into the “I just might not BE here next year” thought.

Yeah, if I move I should be able to come back once a year to visit family and friends but for the most part I will be what we like to call “out of pocket”. (Only electronic hugs, not real ones)

It’s a funny feeling to think about having long-distance relationships with your family and friends. And it will be interesting to see how my relationships change and grow if I move. I know the close friendships I have will remain strong.

But I wonder about family.

I have not been very close to my family through the years, especially my parents. Although I have always been physically close to them (never more than 40 miles or so) I have never been that emotionally close to them.

But that has really been changing over the last year and a half. I finally feel like I am making some progress with my family relationships and here I go and possibly leave the country.

Sometimes I think…Is it possible to grow closer emotionally to my family by moving physically farther away from them?

Still, I have this strange feeling inside that if I do move over 3,000 physical miles away from my family that yes, I will somehow grow closer to them in emotional miles.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I Had A Dream

So exactly one week from today on Nov. 7th I will be flying to LA to attend John Mellencamp’s 55th birthday bash!

Just kiddin…I needed a funny opening line - what we call in the biz a “teaser” to grab your attention…did it work? Anyway, his birthday is on Nov. 7th though…

I am actually going to see Sister Act – The Musical. We are co-producing this new musical, based on the popular Whoopi Goldberg movie, with Pasadena Playhouse/other producers and the musical will be coming to the Alliance in January. This is a two-city try out for a show that could potentially head to Broadway.

And this is one sweet perk.

To fly to Cali to scout out a show and figure out ways to better position said show to Atlanta audiences. This opportunity has made me stop and remember that six years ago when I left college I had a dream…

A dream that has consumed me for the last six years. A dream that has kept my head down, kept me screening all my calls (even calls from family and close friends at times) and kept me over-working.

And it’s so crazy for me to think that something I couldn’t wait to do everyday for the last six years of my life might be set aside for something I didn’t even know I wanted to do a year ago.

Sure. I have learned tons in the business world that has made me the worker I am today but this is like HELLO DIRECTION CHANGE.

It wasn’t until about halfway through my senior year at Georgia that I even knew that arts organizations had marketing departments. But when I found that out it was like so clear to me - combining my marketing degree with my love for the arts was exactly what I wanted to do. And I was very passionate about it. I knew what an amazing experience at a show felt like. And I wanted to help people to have that same experience. I used to get stressed out all the time because I couldn’t get more people to come see shows. As one marketing colleague put it, “Curt, you can lead them to the trough, but you can’t make them drink.”

But you know what? “making people drink” just doesn’t frustrate me anymore…

One day I thought…“I don’t really think God loses sleep over how many tickets I sell to this show.”
And then I started thinking...“DOES God sleep?” No wait…
I mean I started thinking…“What DOES God worry about?”
And then I was like… “What is something that worries God that ALSO worries ME?”

I think it was that line of thinking that first caused me to volunteer at Prevent Child Abuse Georgia in January, and it was also thoughts like that which took me to work with children in Bolivia for two weeks in June and then took me to work with the kids at my church after that. It is also thoughts like that which might take me BACK to the kids in Bolivia because two weeks was just not enough time…

Dear Deloris Van Cartier (aka Sister Mary Clarence),

I know you witnessed your gangsta boyfriend kill somebody and all. I know he is hunting you down and you are being forced to hide out in a convent through the witness protection program. And I know I need to sell tickets so people can escape for two hours from their crazy, busy lives…but you see, this little girl in Cochabamba, Bolivia did not even BELIEVE me when I told her that yes, she could actually KEEP the box of crayons I gave her…and the look in her eyes and the hug she gave me were worth way more than any seat in a theater I could ever help to fill.

So I’m sorry. I wish you the best. But I got a new dream now.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

A Matter of Perspective

I have been taking a class on Thursday nights at church for about 7 weeks now called Perspectives. It is a 15-week course that teaches four different Perspectives on the World Christian Movement – biblical, historical, cultural and strategic.

It is one of those experiences that I am just glad that I am having before I try this whole missionary thing. The speakers for the course have a tremendous amount of experience and they have great insight and words of wisdom for my fellow classmates and I. This class is just another dot in a series of dots connecting me to where I think God is ultimately leading me.

Since the course has hit the midway point I wanted to stop and reflect on some of the ideas that have impacted me the most.

Please note: The views and opinions expressed here DO accurately reflect the views and opinions of the Curtival staff…

  • God already knows who He wants to bless through me tomorrow.
  • In some parts of the world you are actually putting your life on the line if you decide to get baptized (That kinda adds another dimension to it).
  • When you worship God alongside someone from another culture, your view of God gets so much bigger.
  • Sometimes I think we have a tendency to be in love with God’s blessings instead of just being in love with God himself. I think God is looking for people who can survive the blessings.
  • It’s about making God famous, not about Him making me famous.
  • Guilt will get you to the mission field, but it will not keep you there.
  • Am I concerned about God not being praised?
  • Most of us are just trying to get from birth to death in the safest, easiest, softest, most comfortable way possible.
  • God is not interested in achieving His work through us without increasing His love relationship with us.
  • I want to be more globally aware (thank you laptop and internet).
  • Don’t ask, “God, what is your will for my life?” ask “God, what is your will?” and then just join Him in what He is doing.
  • It sucks how Christianity has become perceived by so many people to be a western religion.
  • First impressions in cross-cultural ministry are often dead wrong.
  • Always struggle to admire the things that are truly admirable in any culture because people will eventually find out exactly how you feel about them.
  • No one should have to learn another language to find out how to spend eternity with God.
  • People have to genuinely feel that I like them before they will listen to anything I have to say. I have to earn the right to speak.
  • The first 12,000 miles are the easiest. The last 12 feet are the hardest because that is when people become real.

“In everything you do preach the gospel, if necessary use words.”
- Saint Francis of Assisi

Friday, October 27, 2006

Has anyone ever told you?

What? That I look like Dale Jr.? No...never.
But sure, I'd be happy to take a picture with your girlfriend…

In honor of me (I mean Dale Jr.) being in the ATL this weekend for the Bass Pro Shops 500 I just thought I would give you the tale of the tape…

Dale Jr./Curt comparison

Born on Date:
October 10, 1974 (Concord, NC)
October 9, 1977 (Jackson, MS)

Mooresville, NC
Atlanta, GA



Marital Status:

Whoever invented Chicken

Proudest Moment:
Winning the Daytona 500 in 2004.
Watching the Daytona 500 in 2004.

Cast Away, Saving Private Ryan
Any movie WITHOUT Tom Hanks in it

Tom Hanks, Vince Vaughan
Anyone who stars in any movie WITHOUT Tom Hanks in it

Susan Ward, Meg Ryan
Rachel Weisz, Arial from The Little Mermaid

Estella Warren, Tyra Banks
Adriana Lima, Adriana Lima

Hawaii or Jamaica

Favorite Meal:
Steak and Rice
Chicken Fingers, crinkle cut French-fries and Texas toast

If I wasn’t Racing:
I’d be working at my Dad’s Chevy dealership. It was only a couple years ago I was fastest oil-change man in the place.
I’d be a missionary in South America.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Choose My Own Adventure

This post is in honor of the Choose Your Own Adventure Books I had when I was younger. Did anybody read those like me growing up?

In my own quest for adventure and to gain more wisdom and council surrounding my potential career change I set up a meeting with the director of training and equipping at the World Missions department for the church I attend – Buckhead Church. I met with him on Tuesday to basically just tell him my story, share how I got to where I am today and see what he had to say.

Although I did not know this going into the meeting, it quickly became clear that they have an application process for becoming a career missionary as well. Maybe in my heart I knew that and that is why I wanted to meet with them in the first place.

The interesting thing is that the two agencies that are now on the table present two different primary missions strategies. I kinda feel like my life has really become like one of my old Choose Your Own Adventure books…

Like if I turn to page 25 I get…

South American Missionary Society

  • Guarantees I would serve in South America (I like this because I could definitely use my Spanish and God has really placed a love for the people of Bolivia in my heart)
  • Serves the Anglican Church which means I would be under the authority and direction of the leaders and bishop of the Anglican Church
  • Would lead to a more probable chance of me returning to Cochabamba, the city in Bolivia I visited for two weeks this past summer (And the city that lit this whole missionary flame in my heart in the first place)
  • More social/community outreach and a more likely chance that my primary mission would be to orphanages/children’s homes (I would help the local church there but my primary mission would probably be to help meet the basic needs of children who don’t have a chance and showing them the love of Christ in the process)
  • More freedom to choose my exact ministry and more flexibility within that ministry
  • Faster process (I could leave sometime next summer)
  • More of a guarantee that I will even be offered a position as a long-term missionary
  • The ability to begin raising funds sooner

And if I turn to page 35 I get…

North Point Ministries World Missions Department

  • Could possibly serve in South America but I might not (They have strategic partners all around the world)
  • More focus on church growth – taking the relevant environments that are leading a large number of people into a growing relationship with Christ here in Atlanta and figuring out how to translate those environments into another culture somewhere in the world
  • Still working with children but feels like I could be a part of impacting a larger number of children by helping setup relevant church environments for kids in another culture (Feels like both quantity and quality)
  • More corporate, more structured and although each culture is different I would be trying to figure out how to apply similar ministry strategies/principles that have been proven successes here in Atlanta
  • Slower process (I could leave by next fall at the earliest)
  • Would need to go on a short-term trip with them first to see how they do things (probably late Spring or early Summer)
  • The selection process seems more involved/more like a traditional job interview and it seems like it would be more difficult to actually get offered a position as a long-term missionary
  • Probably less fund-raising needed

Anyone know which page I should turn to?

Better yet, anyone know what page God will turn me to?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Wait for it…

Patience - the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.

I think the next three months are truly a gift from God.
You know what the next three months are?

Month # 1 – Waiting
Month # 2 – More Waiting
Month # 3 – Yet even MORE Waiting

I am waiting to attend a conference at the South American Missionary Society’s headquarters in Pennsylvania in January.
(I know…Pennsylvania in January…yikes)
Basically, at this conference it will become very clear whether or not this will be an avenue for me to get back to Cochabamba. It will be a time for training, education and just plain learning if this sending agency is the right fit for me. I pray daily that God will open the doors He needs to open and close the doors He needs to close and the doors to SAMS just seem to be wide open at the moment.

If all goes well in January I could begin a stretch of months that could prepare me to return to Cochabamba next summer. I feel so much peace about moving there it’s scary. Kinda like that feeling you get when you know you are forgetting something really huge but you can’t quite put your finger on it?

BUT the conference is 79 days away. 79 days of praying and resting in God. 79 days of God working on me.

Waiting is not exactly a strength of our culture. I want this taken care of now! I don’t want to be patient…I mean let’s do this. C’mon God, let’s figure out exactly what I am going to do when I get to Bolivia so I can begin to raise some funds! Time is a wastin…

“What was that? The less time I have to raise money the more I have to trust You? Oh…”

Well it’s no doubt that these next three months will be a great lesson in continuing to trust Him…and a reminder that I don’t think God needs to plan everything out in Microsoft Outlook like I do (He probably doesn’t even have to use those meeting reminder thingys). He is simply teaching me patience…that whole “being able to endure waiting without being annoyed thing.”

I pray God uses these next three months to bring wisdom and council into my life that can help confirm His call on my life and help confirm that I am going in the right direction.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” – Psalm 37:7

Ok. I'll take "patience" for $200 Alex...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Kids write the darndest things

So I was asked to help out with a new group of 2nd graders today at church. The girl who is the leader of this group has pretty much all boys in her group and they are wild. I just had to share something from an activity we did today.

The Bible story today was about this guy named Onesimus - a slave to this guy named Philemon. Onesimus stole money from Philemon and ran away. While he was away he met Paul and gave his life to Christ. Paul then wrote a letter to Philemon agreeing to pay the debt that Onesimus owed him. Paul told Philemon about the change that had taken place in Onesimus and asked him to accept his return out of love and gratitude.

Enter the 2nd graders. So one activity we had them do was to put themselves in Philemon’s shoes. How would they respond if they had received that letter from Paul asking them to take Onesimus back? We asked them to write a letter to Paul and respond.

I present to you now, two of those letters…

Letter # 1:
Dere poll.
I like the letr. it is the best letr in the world.
you have a big hort.

Letter # 2:
Dear Paul,
Hi! Did you die.
If you died, I would kill Onnesimis.

P.S. I like applesause

Wow. I mean I know he stole some money from you but that’s no reason to go and kill the guy.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Weekend Happenings

Today I went to the doctor to get my second Hepatitis A immunization shot. I am now covered 4 life. Yeah! I will start my Hepatitis B shots next month (series of 3). All in preparation for spending more time in South America. I wonder what it would be like if we had to get immunizations to move around in the states. Like say to Loganville. “Oh, moving to Loganville, eh? Well have you had your Waffle House, Home Depot and Chevy immunizations? No? Well you better take care of that…”

I bet the Waffle House shot is a series of 3.

I also breezed through year 1 of the Louvre exhibit at the High Museum this afternoon. I must admit I was a little disappointed. For all the hype the exhibit was pretty short. I guess my expectations were too high. Visiting the Prado museum in Madrid and the Met in NYC spoiled me I think…

Saturday will be cool because in the morning I will be at the Boo at the Zoo event at Zoo Atlanta for a few hours because some actors from our children’s theatre production of Disney’s Aladdin will be in costume visiting with the kids. It is a trick-or-treat event that they have every year for the kids. Saturday is also Chris’ birthday so we will be having dinner in Athens to celebrate. Let’s hope the DAWGS end the losing streak so we will all be a little happier.

On Sunday, all I have to do is try to share my relationship with Christ with my group of 2nd graders at church. Haven’t figured out how to convey that on a second grade level yet…

“You see kids, I grew up in church but my faith wasn’t all that strong so in college I strayed away from God and did the whole sex, drugs and rock and roll thing but I’m back now and everything’s great…”

No wait. That won’t work.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Would you like that biggie-sized?

So I ran a report in Quicken tonight to check out my spending from January 1 until today and in nine and a half months I have spent $1,060.84 on fast food alone! That can’t be possible...$100 a month on fast food? Whatever. I hate you Quicken. I mean I love you. Thank you so much for helping me track where my money goes. Punk.

The only reason I ran the report tonight is because I get together with a group of guys from church every Wed. night and we have been studying finances the last few weeks. I use Quicken to track my finances like a good little boy but I had not run a spending report lately. I decided to run that tonight…and there it was staring right back at me…over a grand in fast food.

All I will say is, unfortunately, I have a hyperactive thyroid which causes an overactive metabolism so the crap I eat sometimes shows no outward negative effects. But health-wise I am starting to worry about the inside a little more than the outside.

I bet if I got a physical some of the results would surprise me. Maybe I’ll do that.

Big props to my roomie Warren – he has got it going on…he exercises, does the weight-watchers thing and has lost 65 lbs. I am very proud.

So bring on Reason # 2 to move to Bolivia – no fast food.

P.S. Reason # 1 is to make God famous.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dale Jr. sighting in Hartwell...

This past weekend “Little E” himself spent three days in a campground just outside of Hartwell sources reported…

Wow. It is amazing how you adapt after you live in the city for awhile. I had no idea how much of a city mouse I had become…I was raised in a small town in Mississippi but after living in Atlanta for several years, spending three days in a campground in Hartwell made me feel like I was a Yankee. Now I really know what Adam means when he says God’s Kuntry. I was there for three days. I get it. I spent this past weekend on a spiritual retreat with some kuntry boys – men who love to eat southern food, tell jokes, talk high-school football, build power lines for a living…and oh, did I mention I look like Dale Jr.

Culture shock aside it was truly an amazing weekend. A weekend where I had no control, didn’t know what time it was for 72 hours and just spent time with God. It was cool.

I’m not gonna go into a boring play by play of the weekend so I will just share a few of the thought/questions God laid on my heart while I was in His kuntry:

  • God doesn’t call us because of who we are, He calls us because of who we might become.
  • Would you rather…wake up to the sound of a rooster or not be able to go to sleep because of the sounds of motorcycles?
  • No act of love or expression of love given in the name of Christ is ever wasted. (Thanks to those who were there for me this weekend. You know who you are.)
  • Why do we always have to worry about what happens next? I think we have been so trained to look ahead sometimes we don’t see things right in front of us.
  • I wonder how often my grandparents told my parents they loved them.
  • Isn’t it great to be loved for no real reason at all? Unconditional love is a beautiful thing. Not having to pay someone back for an act of kindness. That's cool.
  • This weekend confirmed that although I will never reach my destination in this lifetime, I am definitely reaching in the right direction.
  • Oh, there’s my southern accent…I missed you.
  • I remember when I was younger my mom telling me about seeing an angel…I want to ask her about that.
  • I want the love and compassion of Christ in me to be noticeable.
  • God’s grace is greater than all our wrong choices.
  • Jesus wants to go to Bolivia and He just needs me to get there.
  • I think people just loved being prayed for.
  • Forget “WWJD” how about “TWJWD” – “That’s What Jesus Would Do.” – I wanna hear that.
  • I will just do the possible and let God do the impossible.
  • I want people to see Jesus in my eyes.

Love well.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Walking to Emmaus...

So tomorrow afternoon I will be driven up to an undisclosed location somewhere near Lake Hartwell (on the Georgia/South Carolina border) to spend three days on a spiritual renewal retreat called “The Walk to Emmaus.” Chris and Melissa have both experienced this and I am extremely blessed to have them sponsor me and allow me to go. I don’t know what to expect but how can three days without the chance to satisfy my newly acquired weblog addiction and the chance to talk on my cell phone not change me in some way?

Full report after the weekend. See ya in da funny papers.

Where is HE now?

In the spirit of the VH1 “Where are they now?” program, here’s a brief summary of what I have been doing for the last 6-7 years of my life since leaving school. (For those of you who I haven’t talked to)


Just kidding…I have done a few things:

2 Jobs:
Moved to the ATL and started doing marketing/PR for Atlanta Ballet after college. (Was so excited and passionate to combine my marketing degree with something I truly loved…ballerinas…I mean the Arts. I would come to find out that doing something you love right after college was pretty rare…I would also come to find out that no, just because a ballerina is stretching outside your office does NOT mean that she likes you)

After a year and a half I took a job at the Alliance Theatre (great step up) and I have been there for about four and a half years now. I have gotten so much experience and learned so much about working/dealing with people. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. I probably would have been bored after a few years and left by now but I have a great boss who has kept me challenged and engaged and given me opportunities to grow. (Who your boss is can make all the difference in the world)

A few dating relationships here or there but nothing serious enough to move towards marriage.

I am a very proud uncle though...I have two beautiful nieces (Carolyn - 5 years and Averi - 2 years) who love Disney princesses and pink things and one nephew (Ben - 5 months) who loves trucks, nascar and football…sweet! (And yes, he is a Dale Jr. fan)

Biggest change: Found a church I love about a year and a half ago and gave my life to Christ. I grew up Baptist but was turned away when I went to UGA because how attractive is it to have to conform to a certain set of standards BEFORE you are accepted into a church? What a turnoff….Buckhead Church rocks and for the first time in my life I know what they mean when they say “personal” relationship with Jesus.

My whole outlook on life has changed which I’m sure I will talk about later…even to the point that I am considering a career change – moving to Bolivia to become a long-term missionary. We will see…

Anyway, that is my brief summary of the last 6 years. Warren, did I miss anything?

Back to work…

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hello Earth

How are all my faithful blog readers doing? That means you Warren. First of all, I just want to thank my roommate Warren T for helping me set up this blog. (I got nuthin but love for ya)
Basically, I don't have the greatest history (ok, I have pretty much no history) of keeping my friends informed about my life so I hope this helps. And with a potential move to South America on the horizon I am thinking this will come in handy...

Anyway, we'll see how this goes. Wish me luck!