Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Excitement in General

I am just excited this week about how God is using Paola and I. And I continue to be amazed at how God brings service opportunities your way when your heart is open and willing to serve. I think more and more that it is not knowledge and "being completely prepared" that God uses most of the time. I think what God uses most are willing hearts.

Anyway, I am just excited. On Monday night we had our first small group meeting with the guys at the house. It was great. As I mentioned in an earlier post some of the guys from the youth group expressed an interest in having a weekly "guys only" meeting to read a book or do a study together. How can I say no to that? We are looking for a book to study right now but in the meantime I took an idea from my old school group in Atlanta and each person is telling their "story" to the group. It helps so much to get to know the guys better before we dive into material. I shared my story with them on Monday and two of them shared their story too.

I don't know what God has in store for us but I can already see a difference this year. God is just using me in different ways. I am doing LESS yet I feel like I am doing MORE. More focus. More intentional time with people. More opportunities from God to speak. To share with others what He has taught me.

This new small group is one of those opportunities.

Also, tomorrow night we will be holding an all-night vigil with the youth at the church. It will be a time dedicated to hearing from God. A time dedicated to looking for God. A mix of worship and prayer. We will also watch a movie, play a few games and discuss a few messages from the Word. I have never been apart of anything like this so I have no idea what to expect. But I have no doubt that God will show up. Look for an update on Friday.

Bottom line: God just keeps using us. There is lots more to share with you but I will save it for another post.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I know a place

My friend Chris back home has an amazing place in his house to get alone with God. He calls it the "prayer closet." It is a small closet built underneath the stairs in his basement.

Here is a little glimpse...

It is a great space for him to get alone to read the Bible and talk to God. And as you can see in the photo God is now leading him to write verses and thoughts on the wall with a sharpie. That is so rad. I told him that he was straight up like that old dude who was locked up in jail in the Count of Monte Cristo movie.

Anyway...what I love about this space is that nothing else happens in this space except intentional and focused time with God. And it reminds me that all of us need a place like that in our house. We need a closet, a guest bedroom or even a chair that becomes "our space for God." Yes, we need time with God and yes, we can talk to Him anywhere and at anytime. But I reminded that sometimes WHERE we spend that time is key.

We have to find places that help us shut out our loud and busy worlds.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"Because life happens between emails and blog posts."

That was the line that sold me on Twitter.
An online application that lets me post short updates to let my friends know what I am doing. So if you want to know what I am doing BETWEEN blog posts...keep your eyes on the Twitter Updates in the top right corner of my blog.

Just another way to share my life with you. Pretty cool.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Split

This past Saturday for our meeting with the youth we split the boys and girls up. I, of course, went with the boys and Paola went with the girls.
Sometimes this separation can be good, especially for guys, because we share more in groups when there are no girls around. I learned this lesson real well back home in my Buckhead Church small group of just single guys. There is definitely a benefit.

I had a great discussion with the guys on Saturday talking about guy issues. And I am sure that you can guess what those issues are without me telling you.

But one of the coolest things that came out of the meeting was that the guys shared that they want to begin to have a guys only Bible study every Monday night. It was just one of those God moments. It was all God and zero Curt. I had nothing to do with it. God put this idea in their hearts. And I praise Him for it.

So I don't know what God has in store but it looks like I might have the opportunity to be more involved in the lives of these guys on a weekly basis outside of the youth group.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Listen and Learn

Bottom Line…
WHO and WHAT you listen to WILL influence what you do.

A few questions to think about today:
WHO are you listening to?
Who do you need to QUIT listening to? Who do the people you love the most think that you need to quit listening to?
Who SHOULD you be listening to?
What do you not want to hear but NEED to?
Who’s advice are you AVOIDING because you just don’t like the person giving it?

Marinate on that.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Youth Group

Well…here is our current youth group…

Minus one or two who were not at the last meeting. We are small but mighty. And as I have shared before…Paola and I are really excited and blessed. We have some great ideas for this group but our main goal is very simple: we want each and every one of them to be growing in their relationship with Christ. Growing. Getting Better. Getting Stronger. Not stagnant. We want them to grow in the Word and we want them to grow by serving others.

Paola and I want to be used in their lives by God… plain and simple.

The more and more I serve Christ the more and more I realize that I don’t think that there is a better feeling in this world than to be used by Christ in the life of another person.

And as I have said before with regards to the youth group, numbers are not our main goal but I will share that we already have two youth coming to the meetings who do not currently go to the church. Praise God.

This past week our good friend Pablo Molina shared with the youth about integrity. It was a great message and a great time. We try to have some fun during the meetings by doing activities but our main goal is not to just have fun with the youth. Our main hope is to share teachings from the Bible and to make those teachings relevant to someone between the ages of 15 and 21.

In all my 15 months as a missionary in Bolivia…I feel the MOST useful for God right at this very moment.

Thank you Jesus. You gave your life for me. The very least that I can do is give my life back to you in service. If I was worth dying for…then You are without a doubt worth living for.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

We are the Champions

As Christians we should never walk around defeated.
Because we know how this story ends.
We know that God wins.
God never promised us that bad things would not happen to us.
But He did promise us the mercy and grace to endure.

Whatever you are going through right now remember...
If you have placed your faith in Christ you can rest easy because...
God wins in the end and one day death, sorrow and sin will be done forever.

So keep your head up today.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Missed Opportunity

I have talked recently about how great it is to be used by Christ in the lives of others.

But I have a new question for you.

When was the last time you MISSED an opportunity to be used by Christ?

Just this past Saturday I missed one. Paola and I were prepared for our youth group meeting on Saturday night. We were going to bring the youth to the house to watch the movie Fireproof. And I was going to teach on love and forgiveness.

We were all prepared and everything. We even cut out hearts to give to the youth which had the “one phrase” from the lesson on there that we did not want them to forget.

Our meetings are supposed to start at 5:30 p.m.
At 6:00 p.m. one person showed up.

I was a little frustrated. I won't lie. It is not like we are dealing with a large number of youth here but one person…come on. Well it turns out that most of the youth were involved in another activity for most of the day that Pao and I did not know about. Bad communication and a little frustrating.

But here is the missed opportunity.

Instead of taking the one youth who showed up to the house to watch the movie I decided to postpone the meeting. And as we were walking home it hit me…I really missed an opportunity.

I had prepared for MORE PEOPLE. Not just one person. Can you see the lesson I learned here? Numbers should never be our focus. It is not the amount of people that matter... it is the quality of time that you get to spend with people that matters. Maybe God wanted to use us on Saturday in just the life of ONE youth. And we missed it because I decided to postpone. When I realized what I had done I felt sick inside. And I repented.

I told God that never again will I let the number of people present influence whether I allow Him to use me or not. So I hope you learn this lesson that I learned on Saturday.

If there is just ONE PERSON standing in front of you with a heart open to growing more in Christ…never postpone. Never miss the opportunity.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Viva Bolivia!!!

So yesterday Paola and I went to see the Bolivian national soccer team play Argentina here in La Paz. The game was part of the South American World Cup Qualifying league. If you don't know, 32 teams from all over the world qualify for the World Cup every four years and each area of the world has it's on league to determine what teams make it to the World Cup from that area of the world.

All the countries here in South America play each other twice to see which teams make it. Although I have much love in my heart for Bolivia for many reasons, they are not the greatest soccer team in South America. They are next to last in the World Cup qualifying league and Argentina WAS # 2 in the league. Bolivia usually does not perform very well so I did not have high expectations for the team. I wanted to support my adopted national team but secretly I wanted to see Argentina play. They are a powerhouse and they have some superstar players. Oh, and their new coach is Diego Maradona, one of the most famous soccer players ever.

Well, much to the surprise of everyone, Bolivia killed them by a score of 6 to 1. I have always been a huge soccer fan and to get to see a game of this caliber was a tremendous blessing and I give God the thanks.

Here are a few pics to mark the occasion...

The stage is set...

The happy couple sporting our green Bolivian headbands...

The teams...

A huge flag displayed during halftime...

Maradona looking worried...

Lionel Messi...one of the best in the world...

Final score...Bolivia 6 Argentina 1...ouch