Interview w/ Curtis Grimes

Curtis Grimes is a country music artist in Texas, a husband, father, and tenacious follower of Jesus. You’ll understand why I use ‘tenacious’ after you read about his story.

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This is a guy who is very much a family man and 100% committed to great country music. He finished in the top ten on Season 1 of The Voice in 2011. I can tell you, however, he is not willing to compromise his purpose or message in the venues or other opportunities that come his way.

Enjoy my interview with Curtis Grimes, and please check out his music and give him a follow.

[Brent]  When did you get started in music?

[Curtis]  I kind of got a late start when it comes to creating a music career. I really slipped away from God from somewhere in my High School years and following through college. This bled over into the first several years of my music career.

 

[Brent]  What would you say is the single most challenging part for country music artists to stay strong in their faith in this industry?

[Curtis]  Going against the grain. You’re the outcast as a persistent person of faith in this industry. You’re not selling out venues. Not playing in any major festivals. So, I treat this as my personal mission field in an environment they (the audience) didn’t probably expect to hear about Jesus. Simply put, being OK with saying ‘no’ to anything that might hinder advancing my career has got to be one of the toughest things for me.

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[Brent]  What is one of the most helpful pieces of life advice (outside of family) anyone has ever offered to you?

[Curtis]  For me, it started at age 19. Before that was baseball and earning a scholarship in college. After this period of my life came ‘the conviction.’ Recording artist, Aaron Watson, said this: “The  hardest prayer to pray is if success comes from sacrificing my integrity and faith and voice for Jesus, then I need to do something else.” This was a major turning point in my life and career.

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[Brent]  What does Curtis’ personal quiet time look like?  How do you connect with God best?

[Curtis]  For me, it’s literally an ongoing grind. Every day, hour, and minute has to have some sort of connection to Jesus so I don’t slip up. I wake up and pray a 20-30 minute prayer every morning before I even get out of bed. I also make sure I read a chapter in my Bible app. Listening to sermons/messages on my phone while at the gym is something that motivates me more than listening to music while I workout. At night, my wife and I pray together with our daughter and read a devotional. I’ve just learned that ever since my conviction, I will slip away quickly if I don’t maintain this pattern of connection.

 

[Brent]  We all experience constant hills and valleys, and the seasons in between. Regarding your most recent valley, can you describe how you weathered it? Prayer, scripture, wise counsel, music?

[Curtis]  My last 3-4 years has been a 180 degree difference from when I’m not staying connected. A couple of years ago my grandfather passed away. It was a smooth process because I was staying connected regularly. If I hadn’t been, losing him would’ve been much more difficult. It’s a difference in having peace vs. worry and trying to fix things myself. It’s how we interpret those valleys when we’re in them.

 

[Brent]  Is God teaching you anything new right now?

[Curtis]  Being patient with the new ministry I started. I want more ministry to happen more regularly. It’s not where I want to be now, but I need to be patient. I produced a Country Gospel album after numerous requests and God providing the resources for it through a fund raiser.  After the album, there was even more money left over so I started buying Bibles in bulk to give to anyone who didn’t have one. This continues to be something I’m really passionate about.

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[Brent]  If you were to pass on to heaven tomorrow and all but one of your songs ceased to exist, which one would you want to remain for people to hear and why?

[Curtis]  Born to die! This song came out of my first co-write in Nashville after the conviction. I asked if we could prayed first, and then wrote this song.

 

[Brent]  Do you have any personal boundaries for accountability with so much available to you?

[Curtis]  Well, I’m always sober. That’s the easy thing. I also try to go to church even while on the road. I also ask my band to be sober and encourage them to do church too. I read the Bible in my hotel room when away from home. And if they don’t have one of the Gideon Bibles in my room I’ll leave one of mine in the nightstand drawer.

 

[Brent]  What made you want to do this interview?

[Curtis]  I will take every opportunity to talk about my faith and the rest of my story, period.

 

Where to connect with Curtis and his music:

Spotify / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter / Website / Youtube

 

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How To Embrace Your ‘New’ Season

Ok, if I’m honest I really don’t have a firm grasp on embracing new seasons myself. But like many of you, I am in the middle of weathering one currently so…let’s have a discussion. Shall we?

As I was beginning to pen this post, this scripture came to mind…

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Eccl. 3:1

A Season, or time, for everything. The Hebrew meaning for time here is a ‘set or appointed time.’ In other words, the seasons you and I are facing today are no surprise to God. There is a reason we are where we are!

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And sometimes this requires us to reevaluate some of the regular patterns and habits we’ve set in place. To change things up a bit, if you will. Now, this is really difficult for a guy who ‘needs’ to know what to expect in my day and who values (to a fault) concrete habits. It’s my comfort zone, BUT God operates best outside of comfort zones!

So, what does it look like to EMBRACE a new season of life?

Here’s what I know and have personally experienced. We must be willing to step into it. This requires (demands) faith. And faith without action is dead. You and I must be able to rest in the promise that God is not surprised by where we are right now, and he does have a purpose for us while we are there.

Be intentional to spend time in his Word. Ask him to speak clearly to you through his Word and through other believers. Journal your thoughts and what you think God is telling you.

 

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3 Steps To God’s Will For Your Life Today

Have you ever found yourself in a season where life just sucks? And then God tosses an image like this out on your Facebook feed. prayer

 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus FOR YOU.”  1 Thess. 5:16-18

 
It’s important for us as believers to recognize these 3 ASPECTS of God’s will for us provided here in 1 Thessalonians.
 
  1. Rejoice ALWAYS – Meaning, be glad. Look for the joys of life that are all around us but often difficult to notice.
  2. Pray WITHOUT ceasing – Having a constant mind of prayer throughout the day helps to strengthen our faith. It keeps us focused on God more than our circumstances. It reminds us that we need him. Lastly, it encourages us not to give up praying for things that we’ve been asking God about for a while.
  3. Give thanks in ALL circumstances – It’s easier for most of us to give thanks to God when life is pleasant. But when things really stink it requires a ton of effort to be actively thankful.
 
So, why are these 3 things such a high focus for God’s will for you and I?
 
As our father in heaven, he truly wants for us to be happy. Continual prayer is needed to maintain our relational connection with him. And a thankful heart keeps us grounded and hopeful.
 
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t actually going to post anything this morning. But this image on PRAYER caught my eye as I was scrolling through FB. My wife had posted it. She’s awesome. Anyway, we’re currently in a very difficult season and walking through mental health struggles with one of our adult children.
 
The most frustrating part of it is that there is virtually nothing we can do to FIX their situation. Nothing we can do to take their pain away. All we can to is be present, offer a thousand hugs, and be a sense of security and safety. We also pray a TON.
 
While I say ‘all we can do,’ those things really are powerful. In all actuality, they really are ENOUGH. But as a parent it doesn’t feel like it.
 
Nevertheless, I choose to focus on these ACTIONS today…tomorrow…and the next day.
 
How about you? Do you wrestle with these? How can I pray for you this week?

 

 

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Do You Have A Bad Attitude?

Don’t allow a bad attitude to mask your GREAT CHARACTER today. character
We all have those moments. Stub a toe, wack a finger with a hammer, spill the morning coffee. The right situation can negatively effect those with even the strongest character, myself included. And we’re not perfect.

Galatians 5:22-23 reads, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control These are basically CHARACTER TRAITS, evidence, for believers that God’s Spirit is thriving in us.

The key is to RECOGNIZE it and ADDRESS it. Hope you enjoy your Thursday!

I’d love to hear from you.  Join the discussion and LEAVE A COMMENT below.

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Didn’t See It Coming [review]

Here’s my review of Carey Nieuwhof’s latest book. [I received an Advance Reader Copy of this book]

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Carey Nieuwhof offers powerful insight and reflection in his latest book, ‘Didn’t See It Coming.’  (order your copy HERE)

He combines wisdom with personal authenticity in a ways that all of us can relate.

One of the inevitable challenges we will all face at some point in life is the reality of irrelevance. Carey says…

The barrier to change, of course, is that anything that deviates from your default–your normal–will feel unfamiliar, challenging, and sometimes even threatening.

This section on irrelevance was the most challenging for me personally. I’m still working through what my approach to this challenge is going to look like.

He may have written on irrelevance in a chapter or two, but this book is clearly one of the most relevant reads of the year! Please take my word for it and be sure to get a copy. And then take your time reading through it. Highlight, underline, or journal your thoughts in Evernote as you read.

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the book.

“When you’re no longer breathing, the legacy you’ll leave will center on your character.”

“Progress begins with self-honesty.”

“As a culture, the more connected we’ve become, the more isolated we’ve grown.”

“Conversation has become a press conference with whomever happens to be listening.”

“You can make excuses or you can make progress, but you can’t make both.”

“Culture never asks permission to change. It just changes.”

“…keep changing, learning, and evolving. Change starves off irrelevance.”

 

Learn more about Carey

You can stay connected with Carey Nieuwhof at Twitter and Instagram. And if you are a CNLPpodcast listener you really need to check out the Carey Nieuwhof Leadershp Podcast!

 

Join the #Identify3 Challenge

Needing a change of PERSPECTIVE this week…this month…this year?

Sometimes all we need is to modify our ATTENTION for our perspective to obtain clarity.

Try counting your blessings each morning. Like, REALLY counting them.

List them.

Acknowledge each blessing from God.

Challenge yourself to identify 3 ‘different’ blessings each day for a solid week. You will have a list of at least 21 unique, freely given blessings by day 7. Then, take time on the 8th day to give special thanks to Jesus for each of them.

And even if you’re not a follower of Jesus, that’s OK!  Simply recognizing the GOOD THINGS in our lives is something everyone should be able to do.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I’m going to do this myself!  Comment below if you’re going to accept the challenge too.  Also consider sharing this post wherever you are on social media.

Use the hashtag #Identify3 with your posts. 

To get you started well, enjoy this music video by Rend Collective! (they’re amazing)

 

Connect with me on Instagram. That’s where I spend most of my time.

How To Weather The Seasons Of Life Like A Boss!

Ha, that title is the EPITOME of click bate (and I do hate click bate).

I’m not weathering my personal current season of life like a boss, so why would I even attempt to write something like this for anyone else?

Easy.  I’ll give you two reasons.  1. This isn’t really for you.  It’s for me.  Writing helps me process my thoughts, mood, and ultimately my actions.  So there!  2. Confession.  Yep, sharing my own shortcomings will hopefully keep me humble, and might even encourage someone else along the way.

So, with that….

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For many of us, changes in the four seasons require certain behaviors from us.  Here are a few examples.  Our clothing changes depending upon how warm or cold it is outside.  One season may call us to shovel snow or put de-icer on the driveway.  At other times in the year cutting the grass or raking leaves might be in the cards.  And the list goes on.  There is very little, if anything, you and I can do to avoid these types of elements.  We are forced to make modifications to accommodate the particular elements of each season.

winter

The seasons of life are absolutely no different!

We must look ahead, prepare, and sometimes expect the inevitable challenging elements.

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Take empty nesting, for example.  As much as I knew it was coming, it felt like it came out from nowhere!  This is still a challenge, even though it is going really well.

In the past 6 months, my wife and I have:

  • Relocated back to our home state of Washington from Colorado. (with two of our kids, plus a fiance’)
  • Begun discovering what leading a Missional Community looks like.
  • Started adjusting to military life with a son in the Navy. (he’s shipping over seas next week)
  • Getting used to another son living away in Colorado.  It’s hard when they’re not close.
  • Discovered the health and beauty of doing bi-vocational ministry in our community.

summer

In all of that, here are a few ways we have tried to weather these seasons like bosses!

Community | Authenticity changes everything.  Plus, God created us to live in community with one another and with Him.  To support and encourage each other.

Meditation | Prayer, or often simply sitting in the Lord’s presence.  In this current season, sometimes all I can do is sit quietly by myself and think about Jesus.  Sitting with Him while doing nothing is so therapeutic!

Exercise | Even when we don’t feel like it.  My wife and I go to the gym 5-6 times each week.  We’re not always excited about this, so it is helpful when we hold each other accountable to go weather we feel like it or not.  The key here is simply to remain active somehow.

Talk | With each other.  For us, this has made our marriage even stronger.  We share our real anxieties & pain with each other.  I realize this is a significant struggle for most men, but trust me.  Your marriage will advance to a level it’s never been before!

Journaling | I use Evernote and blog.  If you prefer the old fashioned paper and pen, try getting yourself a nice Moleskin tablet.

In the end, all seasons come to an end so that new ones can begin. The Bible reminds us that there is a season for everything, a time for every matter under heaven.  This should encourage us when we are in a dark season that better days are coming.  Likewise, it gives us advanced warning when things are sailing smooth that …

What about you?  What season are you in, and what have you found to be helpful to weather it?

OR….which of the items I mentioned above tend to be challenging to actually implement?

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Comments and questions are welcome below.

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