Monday, May 21, 2012

1000 Days

Today is my 1000th consecutive day of posting on this site.  1000 days is a long time, and a milestone I never expected to reach.  Readers like YOU are what has made this worthwhile for me, and I wanted to take this chance to thank you all, and to share these thoughts...

On August 26, 2009, I decided to start a blog.  The decision was not inspired by any awesome revelation from God, or by any encouragement from family and friends.  It was inspired by a viewing of the movie Julie & Julia with my wife.  After seeing the impact blogging had on the life of the Julia character (a true story, by the way) I decided that perhaps it was time for me to get busy with making something of the rest of my life- and a blog seemed like a good place to start.  Who knew that Amy Adams would change my life?!   By August of 2009, it had been over 2 years since my life had fallen apart and I had ceased to be a youth pastor.  I had spent a lot of that time secluded, afraid of how old friends and former students would react to the things I had done. It was becoming clear to me that I needed to forgive myself (which is still an ongoing struggle), to let go of my past and see what God had in store for my future.  I felt like it was time to tell my story and face whatever lay in front of me.  And that is what I have attempted to do for these past 1000 days.

In the beginning, my modest goal was to blog every day for one year.  I just wanted to tell stories about the people and places who had made my life so special.  I wanted to tell the stories of faith that made me who I am.  I wanted to tell the stories of my failures.  And I have done all of that.  In the process, I discovered a whole new ministry of encouragement with friends old and new.  God has used the blog to renew my soul and my spirit, to reconnect me with people I love, and to get me back in the game of life in big way.  It has been more than I could have ever hoped for.  I have written about spiritual things, humorous things, old friends, youth ministry, movies, baseball and so much more. I have built my own Youth Group Hall of Fame. I have learned just how precious and valuable a comment is, a fact which prompted to me start #CommentDay. There have been over 30 guest posts and more than a few rants.  I have shared the stories of some great triumphs, and of my own personal abject failure.  But right from the very beginning, my great hope was that these posts would, in their own ways, always point to Jesus.  I am so blessed to have had so many of you share in this journey, and I would love to hear your thoughts on your favorite moments from these first 1006 posts and first 1000 days.  To close, I would like to share a few excerpts from the very first post. It reminds me of where I came from, and excites me about where I hope we are going.  That first post was called So Here's the Deal...

Walt Disney once famously said about the company that bears his name "never forget that it all started with a mouse." The life/ministry story that will be shared through this blog, that of Carl Jones, might be summed up by saying it all ended with a mouse- and a keyboard. But life, and faith, are not about the destination. They are all about the journey. And the journey can be very messy. There are roadblocks and detours, and bridges that wash out along the way. Everyone has struggles and failures. The late Dan Fogelberg wrote:
"Along the road your steps may stumble
Your thoughts may start to stray
But through it all a heart held humble
Levels and lights your way..."

For those of us seeking to be disciples of Jesus, the Christ, this is particularly clear when we look at the lives of the disciples. They often stumbled. They seldom knew what Jesus was talking about. And they sinned, despite walking daily with the Son of God. But they persevered, and in the end they changed the world in the name of Jesus. And thus it has been for me. My life had been filled with enormous successes and happiness as well as miserable failure. But through it all, the light of Christ has illuminated the path.

So I begin this story by telling you that I am secure in my destination. I know that I know that I know that through grace I have been saved. This blog will be about the journey. It's about finding joy in the journey, and understanding how God works among us. And most importantly, it's about how the overwhelming, ridiculous grace of Jesus Christ is available to even the chief of sinners like me. The stories I will share here are true.  I hope they will make you think and make you smile, for many of them are humorous.  After all, no matter how you look at it, life is funny.  I mean I'd laugh- but all this happened to me!

Yesterday I read somethings that really resonated with me, and I will close with it: "When you stumble, just make it a part of the dance."  I have often stumbled over the past 1000 days, but I have loved doing the dance.  Thanks for dancing with me.  May we always allow the LORD of the Dance to lead us...

Because of Jesus,


  1. Anonymous5/21/2012

    Congratulations, and thanks for your commitment and dedication. I read everyday, and especially love when you write about student ministry. You inspire me! I hope you keep going! ~Chris Cooper

    1. I appreciate that Chris, and I am going to try!

  2. Yay! I'd offer to bake a cake with 1,000 candles on it, but that just seems silly (and dangerous). Congratulations, friend. I'm proud of you and who you are.

    1. Thanks, Teresa. You can save the cake for the reunion. Dangerous can be fun!

  3. Congrats on the milestone, Carl!


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