Monday, January 31, 2005

A Must Read

You've gotta check out Radical Reformission by Mark Driscoll. Driscoll is the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and penned this amazing work about "reaching out without selling out." He displays an amazing balance of sound theology with cultural relevance - a combination that is hard to find these days. I devoured this book and I'm sure you will too. Even though Micah errs in being a Florida Gator fan, I think he would give you the same encouragement concerning this book...

posted by Rick and Christie

Dining Disasters

I don't know if it's just something about us, or what, but we seem to have an over abundance of traumatic restaurant experiences. There was that time at Ruby Tuesday's (sorry Jared) when Rick found a mouse/rat claw in his italian vegetable soup. And the gross thing was that it was right in the middle of a piece of sausage - and so what that means is that (if you have a weak stomach, you might should discontinue reading) the nasty rodent probably fell into the sausage when it was being ground and so, erhh, you get the picture. Our latest incident happened on Saturday at Woody's BBQ, actually one of Rick's favorite places to eat. First thing, after he'd already drank half of his Diet Coke/Dr. Pepper mix - he found lipstick (not mine) on the side of his glass. It was bright colored too, so I'm sure some old lady had probably sipped her sweet tea out of it the day before. Another reason among many, he said, why he should have been using a straw. Rick got a new drink and we were finally enjoying the rest of our meal, only for it to be interrupted by an unwanted piece of someones coiffure. Yes, a hair, wound up in a piece of Rick's smoked turkey. Well, I shed like an animal all the time, and so Rick is used to my hair in his food, infact, he has grown quite accustomed to it and now expects it - but other's hair. He's not there just yet. He showed the hairy turkey to our waitress and requested a break on our check. The manager gave us Rick's meal for free. So, we saved 8 bucks, Rick said it was worth it. I'm not so sure.

posted by Rick and Christie

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

just one more...

i promise.

I couldn't help it, but I just went back to and found this saying on the last page

"On Judgment Day you'll wish your car had JESUS STICKERS"

no, on judgment day, you'll wish you had Jesus PERIOD!
posted by Rick and Christie

but the greatest of these is love...

The longer I remain in ministry, the more people I meet, the more I study Scripture, the more I am convinced of the truth that Jesus revealed in his statement:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbr as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commands."

I've been trying to let this truth penetrate my mind for some time and I'm convinced the longer I think about it, the more I realize that our love is truly the central ingredient of our faith/religion. As our love for God increases, our love for others increases, and our selfish love of self decreases. John had it right - "He must increase, I must decrease"

I read a quote by Scottish preacher, Alexander Whyte, that has brought further clarity to this passage and idea for me:
"It is out of self-love that all our other evil passions spring. The whole fall and ruin and misery of our present human nature lies in this, that in every human being self-love has taken, in addtion to its own place, the place of the love of God and of the love of man also. We naturally now love nothing and no one but ourselves."

How true this is, "we naturally now love nothing and no one but ourselves."

God, help me to love you and everyone else more than I love myself.
posted by Rick and Christie

Monday, January 24, 2005


Caution: Genius at Work

I went searching for a bumper sticker one of our college youth told us he saw last week:
"If it's not King James, It's not the Bible!"

but found this one instead - it's absolutely amazing to me... unfortunately, my father falls into this KJV only camp. I'm often accused of reading the "Non Inspired Version" or when they are feeling kind the "Nearly Inspired Version"

On a similiar note, check out this great site,

Their intro, placed under the title "Testimony Time" reads:
"Why be silent when you can witness to hundreds of people with Christian bumper stickers? These high quality, vinyl bumper stickers are available in attractive colors with hundreds of messages. Some are even available in foreign languages."
You'll find such great bumper stickers as: "the Devil is pro-abortion" and "are you following Jesus this close?"

How exciting I see the converts lining up already... hurry, get your's quick, they're going fast.

If you'd like to check out the other camp, check out this truly great site:

makes for some interesting reading.
posted by Rick and Christie

Racism in God's Country?

Although I know that prejudice exists everywhere - it seems that it abounds in the South. You know, it has been decided down here that it is a wicked and detestable sin to marry someone of a different race. You ask for Scripture to back up the view? Oh, there's Scripture. That one about being unequally yoked, that's it! Sorry, try again. It is scary that educated, intelligent people can be so ignorant. Someone (who happens to have their doctorate) told a friend of ours the other day - "Marrying a black person is kind of like homosexuality - you can't really find in the Bible where it says it's wrong, you just know it is." Okay, that will definitely be a contestant in the most idiotic statement of the year contest. And it is so sad that these erroneous ideas are not dying off - they are being passed down to the next generation. This is so offensive, I know - but a while back a young guy from the area who is a missionary to China came to speak at our church. After he was done, one elderly lady asked him what his parents would do if he brought home one of those "slant eyed" girls! What is wrong with people? The stronghold of racism has definitely gotten a stranglehold in this area.

Piper has some good thoughts on this issue here and here.

posted by Rick and Christie

Flip Flops...(the footwear, not John Kerry)

Although I used to love cold weather, it seems in recent years that my love for chilly temps has been superceded by my love for flip-flops. It is hard for me to even pick out an outfit when I know I am going to have to pair it up with real shoes. Unfortunately, the flip-flop craze has yet to catch on here in South Georgia. Infact, not only are flops not popular here in this county named after the president of the confederacy- if you talk to some, they would assert that they were ungodly. Yes, it's true. I've been told that they are not appropriate for the "sanctuary." What they mean is that it is disrespectful for my tosies to hang out in the building on 30 W. Tallahassee St. that we call the "church." I do try to respect their opinion, but I would like to make a proclomation here and now, that I don't wear my flip-flops in the sanctuary, I wear them on it. Except of course, when it's freezing outside.

posted by Rick and Christie

It's a bird! It's a plane!, it was a bird!

it seems Chrisite and I have a knack for posting gross pictures on our blog.

you can check out the story of puffy, our feline friend, here

and if you'll remember, shortly after Christmas Christie posted about our run in, literally, with a low flying bird...

well, i've carried it around on the digital camera long enough...

here is the evidence...

this is a picture of what remained on my windshield after driving around for a week. Can you see the feathers still glued to the grease on the front of the windshield? Christie finally made me wash it off - she said she couldn't stand looking through it any longer.
oh, well...

may Puffy and Shot Gun (that's the kind of noise he made when he hit the windshield) rest in peace.
posted by Rick and Christie

Friday, January 21, 2005

Isn't it ironic... don't ya think?

i love it...
a sister church here in town.

where's the grace?

although i think this is a great passage, you have to ask yourself - is it really appropriate for the welcome sign?

the funniest part of this photo is the part you can't see - me taking the picture.
christie and i saw this sign about 11:00 at night and whipped in to take the picture, i hopped out of my jeep and went running across the church's yard - that is until i hit the chain strung between two poles that i didn't see... took me out about thigh level and sent me face first to the ground - other than a nasty bruise though, no injuries.
posted by Rick and Christie

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

You know, I hate that we continue mentioning this Seattle thing - but I'm really excited. Just last night Rick and I began fighting over our new copy of Radical Reformission, the new book by Mark Driscoll that we are going to read before we hear him speak at the Acts29 conference at Mars Hill Church. We're also planning how we are going to spend our free time. Of course, we'll go and see the Space Needle and check out Bill Gates' mansion, but other than that - we're not sure. We will only be a little more than 2 hours from Vancouver - so we've thought of heading up there. And Whistler Blacomb, the best skiing in North America, is only about a 4 hour drive. Although we probably won't hit the slopes- it is tempting. Most likely, we'll just enjoy hanging out in Seattle and experiencing the northwest culture (well, some of it anyway). All I know is that whatever we do, as long as it involves good food, lots of lattes, and some shopping - I'll be happy.

posted by Rick and Christie

English as a Second Language...

it seems my tenure in South Georgia has produced many changes in me... most noticeably my speech. Christie is trying to help me out, she swears I will be laughed out of Seattle - and she's probably right.

but how did it come to this?

i know that I have a propensity towards changing my speech patterns to those I am around... I discovered this my first semester in college at toccoa falls, when I had been hanging out with some Canadian guys for a few weeks and called home... my mother wanted to know who I was hanging out with and why I continually was saying, "ay!"

I was again reminded of it shortly after moving to South GA. the first time my sister came to see me, her first question for me was: "What have they done with my nice articulate brother?"

so here I am. what began as a few extra "w's" [i promise that is not a political statement] creeping into my words - such as dawg, bawx, etc... has turned into a pure butchering of the english language. Christie swears during my message last night, i said "come" in place of "came" at least five times - i didn't believer her until five minutes later i turned to her and asked "john, come and got you tonight?".

it scares me, but since christie's pointed it out, i'm noticing just how bad i am... but i'm also noticing that some of the most educated among us hazlehurstians tawlk, i mean talk - just as bad - if not worse than i do...

somebody help me...
*singing* "we're from the country and we like it that way..."

other commonly mispoken words:
"were" to replace "was"
ex. I meant I were not gonna miss that party last night.

"them" to replace "those"
ex. "Look at them things over there."

posted by Rick and Christie

Countdown to Seattle

only 17 days until we leave.... Woooo Hoooo!!!
posted by Rick and Christie

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I'm embarassed to admit...

that I really like American Idol. Cheesy? Maybe so. But that hasn't yet curbed my attraction. Although I didn't really watch much of the first season - the second and third seasons found themselves being broadcast from my home every Tuesday night. It's not that I think any of the contestants are really all that talented - and I don't even like the style of music most of them sing - but somehow, I can't seem to pry myself away from the electric glow of the television when Ryan, Randy, Paula and Simon appear. If you happen to be in the dark as to why I'm posting about this today - season four starts tonight! 8pm/et on Fox if you're interested. It begins with the tryouts, which really are my favorite part. And to any of you who would point a finger of accusation against me and my show - remember, you probably used to watch Full House and Saved by the Bell, so you don't have any room to talk!

posted by Rick and Christie

we're following the leader...

what an exciting time we are having. we have a new pastor, he's young, energetic, fun and a gifted leader. we feel like we have an awesome pastor who will be someone we can work closely with and who will produce results for the sake of the kingdom.

this past sunday was his first sunday to preach - and an amazing thing happened - people actually responded during the invitation... our invitation is usually more or less a closing hymn, but there were people praying and you could tell there was something different in the air - maybe the Holy Spirit. at any rate, we're excited and looking forward to a great year.

posted by Rick and Christie

Monday, January 17, 2005

When you come to a fork in the road...

stick it in the new pastor's yard.

2,000 plastic forks...$25.00
27 rolls of toilet paper...$7.44
A strawberry waffle from Waffle King...$3.44

Watching the faces of your youth as they decimate the new pastor's yard at 2am...priceless.

we have a new pastor here at FBC Hazlehurst, hence our busy week last week and few blog comments.

It's an exciting time for us, we've been over a year without a pastor and we've now hired someone who is young, fun and energetic.

His family is still in Atlanta, but they came down for the first weekend (this past weekend) so we thought it would only be right to welcome them the good old fashion way - toilet paper their vehicles and fork their yard.

below are a few pictures.

disclaimer to any youth pastor who may be reading this: notice if you will that I do not appear in any of the pictures, there is no evidence I was involved in the crime. Also, realize that we went back the next morning with donuts and milk as a peace offering and volunteered to clean it up, but we had a blast sneaking out around at 2 am praying the dog wouldn't bark - and he didn't. we're believing this to be as miraculous as God shutting the mouths of the lions for Daniel.
posted by Rick and Christie

did we do that?

btw... that's approximately 1,500 forks - reminded us of Arlington National Cemetery.

interesting fact: a case of 1,000 forks from a commercial distributor is only about $12.50.
posted by Rick and Christie

look at my masterpiece
posted by Rick and Christie

girls will be girls
posted by Rick and Christie

all in a night's work
posted by Rick and Christie

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

the many faces of jesus...

follow this link for a great laugh...

these videos were produced by vintage 21, as a satirical way of looking at some common perceptions of Jesus that are propogated through the church and world today.

they were actually used in the vintage 21 services as they attempted to poke holes in these false misconceptions...

warning: videos may produce extreme amounts of laughter.
posted by Rick and Christie

Monday, January 10, 2005

A Great Surprise...

when I posted about my cbd order, i had forgotten about two other works i ordered - and SURPRISE! they arrived this afternoon:

1. Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible
2. Devotional Classics edited by Richard J. Foster
posted by Rick and Christie

Explicit Lyrics

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Derek Webb’s song Wedding Dress from the album, She Must and Shall go Free – if so, you already know that the song contains a couple words that some might think were used inappropriately. This song was written about being a fitting bride for Christ – but interestingly enough, it also is a response to Bruce Wilkinson’s book, The Prayer of Jabez. In contrast to Wilkinson’s book, the song asks whether or not we should expect anything more from God than what He has already done for us. The closing three lines (below) are directed at those who have taught a gospel of wealth and prosperity to the Church. Sadly, there are Christian retailers who refused to carry the album because of the strong language in the song. If they’re going to do that, then they need to go and pull the KJV’s from their shelf too…

Here it is.

If you could love me as a wife
And for my wedding gift, your life
Should that be all I’d ever need
Or is there more I’m looking for
And should I read between the lines
And look for blessings in disguise
To make me handsome, rich, and wise
Is that really what you want

I am a whore I do confess
I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle
I’m a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle to you

So could you love this bastard child
Though I don’t trust you to provide
With one hand in a pot of gold
And with the other in your side
I am so easily satisfied
By the call of lovers so less wild
That I would take a little cash
Over your very flesh and blood

I am a whore I do confess
I put you on just like a wedding dress
And I run down the aisle
I run down the aisle
I'm a prodigal with no way home
I put you on just like a ring of gold
And I run down the aisle to you

Because money cannot buy
A husband’s jealous eye
When you have knowingly deceived his wife

Oh, and Rick would get fired if he played this song in church, trust me (see post below).

posted by Rick and Christie

I Repent...

Yesterday, I had the privilege of preaching both our morning and evening services. I'm finding that the more opportunity I have to preach, the more I like to preach.

During the morning service, I preached out of 1 John 3 - on the topic of love. and During the evening service, I preached out of Luke 18 - the story of the tax collector v. the pharisee - the message was actually on being in touch with your sin.

But what I'm really excited about is the fact that I played Derek Webb's song I Repent and I still have a job. It was great to look out at the congregation and see some of the people in their 70's+ reading the words on the screen and nodding in agreement.
posted by Rick and Christie

Saturday, January 08, 2005

New Year's Resolutions

I've been working on this list since the New Year and I'm sure it's not yet finished, but I decided I'll go ahead and post it... you can always make changes later, right?

1. Stand up taller
2. Continue working out regularly
3. Think more, talk less
4. Remove all the extra “w’s” that have made their way into my words (i.e. – dowg, tawlk, bowx, etc) and learn the difference between “them” and “those” and stop saying “ain’t” - basically, quit talking like I live in South Georgia
5. Learn more about my savior and God and increase the love I have for Him
6. Keep my desk clean and my office organized (the hardest so far)
7. Get to know my wife better and love her more
8. Read more... especially theology
9. Drink more water, consume less sugar
10. Quit procrastinating (like I am right now!)
posted by Rick and Christie

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Take a peek...

at our CBD order that arrived today.

The Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
The Works of Jonathan Edwards
The Story of Christianity by Justo L. Gonzales
Who Made God by Ravi Zacharias
NIV One Minute Bible for Starters - for my chitlins'
Total Money Makeover Workbook by Dave Ramsey
Celebrating the Disciplines by Richard J. Foster
Study Guide for Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
Worldviews in Focus: Thinking Like a Christian
by David Noebel & Chuck Edwards
Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry by Doug Fields
It's All in How You Tell It: Preaching First Person Expository Messages
by Haddon and Torrey Robinson
Making Room for Life: Trading Chaotic Lifestyles for Connected Relationships by Randy Frazee

Now, if I can only find time to read them all...
posted by Rick and Christie

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

we know more than...

we know more than our pastors...

i got this link from Brian at relentless grace.

it's going to take a while to read, and i must admit, i've barely started. but since we are "the pastors" it may be worth our while to take a look at this essay and then see what we can glean from it.
posted by Rick and Christie

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Whistlin' Dixie...

My most recently overheard Bible belt statement #1:

in reference to a son's upcoming 18th birthday and the desire to see him in a coat and tie:

"...he's getting old enough now, it's time he learns to dress up. start wearing things that you don't want to wear, just because your supposed to. the way i see it, it's just part of the sacrifice we have to make for the Lord..."

no joke, i promise
posted by Rick and Christie

I'm so excited...

...and i just can't hide it!

christie and i have confirmed our reservations for this year's conference.

The church sends us to a conference of our choice each year...
last January we got to see Mel Gibson and a private viewing of The Passion in Orlando. We also got to hear Leonard Sweet and meet Kay Arthur, and see many other exciting people.

But this year's conference is going to ROCK.

We are headed to Seattle - to Mars Hill Church, for the Acts 29 Boot Camp - a church planting conference. Not that we are planning to plant a church any time soon, but we know there will be so many valuable things shared at this conference that we simply didn't want to miss it. Speakers will include Mark Driscoll, founding Pastor of Mars Hill; Bill Clem, founding pastor or Doxa (another acts29 church); and Steve Tompkins, director of A29.

We'll also get to attend church at Mars Hill and tour Seattle. We'll be staying downtown at the Red Lion Hotel on 5th Avenue... that means nothing to me, except it was the best deal and had the best reviews of the hotels on

So far, the only down fall has been the fact that we won't be able to blog for a week. But we'll get to see the space needle, Bill Gates 66,000 sq ft mansion, and the original Starbucks.

Our Schedule:
Session 1 Theology—Knowing God’s Mission
Session 2 Planting—Resources and Timeline
Lunch together
Session 3 Values—Sharing God’s Values
Session 4 The Leader—Living God’s Commands
Workshop: Missional Worship
Session 5: Vision Seeing: the Mission Complete
Session 6: Leadership Team Gathering: Your Missions Team
Session 7 Planning: The Strategy of the Missionary
Workshop: Counseling the Sexually addicted
Session 8 Pathways—Moving the Mission
Session 9 Perseverance—Growing the Mission

If any of you have been to Seattle and can recommend some places to go, let us know.
posted by Rick and Christie

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Preachers, Cigars and Daily Devos

I've decided - as an act of accountability and as a means of sharing this new book I've found - to create a new blog that includes Charles Spurgeon's Daily Help - feel free to use it as part of your daily devotional life.

posted by Rick and Christie

A treasure I've found...

our offices have been undergoing renovations for about 6 weeks now - it seems like a never ending project, but there has been some good come out of it. mainly, it has caused me to sort through some of the piles i've accumulated over the past 2 1/2 years here in hazlehurst and rid myself of those things that i did not - or no longer need...

at any rate, in doing this, i discovered a book i didn't know i had: Daily Help by Charles Spurgeon. It is a small book that is extremely old, i believe i inherited from my former pastor, Rev. Tracy Brinson, and contains a thought for each day of the year.

At any rate, i plan on incoporating this book into my devotional life for the upcoming year and as i sat down to read for today -i found that tomorrow's thought had to be shared...

He who lives without prayer - he who lives with little prayer - he who seldom reads the Word - he who seldom looks up to heaven for a fresh influence from on high - he will be the man whose heart will become dry and barren; but he who calls in secret on his God - who spends much time in holy retirement - who delights to meditate on the words of the Most High - whose soul is given up to Christ - such a man must have an overflowing heart: and as his heart is, such will his life be.

May the new year find us all with "overflowing" lives.

posted by Rick and Christie

A Confession

I hate stuff, I really do. Maybe it's a personality flaw, I don't know, but I can't deal with piles of useless garbage. If I had it my way, I would get rid of all of my belongings except the things I use and enjoy often and move into a small loft apartment somewhere. A place that gave no opportunity for collecting anything. I don't like to keep much out on counters, or in corners or baskets or closets. I have no use for old mail, newspapers, magazines, checkbooks, receipts (unless necessary), or clothing tags. My philosophy is that "less is more" and the fewer things you have, the more you can enjoy the things you do have. I don't like to do projects that require me to store lots of materials. I don't even like to let dishes soak overnight, because that means they have to sit out in the kitchen. When I'm forced to soak a pan or something, I usually stick it in the oven so I don't have to look at it. Somehow, too much stuff disturbs my chi.

Unfortunately, my husband doesn't completely agree with all of my rationale. He likes things neat too, but he isn't against a pile here and there - or setting something aside that there is like a .000001% possibility that we might use one day. Therefore, marital strife can sometimes ensue over stuff. Take for example a piece of junk mail Rick received one day (remember it was junk mail). I stuck it in the trash can and when he arrived home he questioned why it had been tossed. Well, of course my reply was that I was only "storing" it there... Didn't go over too well. Most recently, Rick has been scowering the house for a catalog he wanted to order some things from. It was nowhere to be found, well not really, he finally did locate it when he went through some old bags of trash out by the road today. I don't care what he says, I didn't throw that thing away, it's not possible, I wouldn't have done that. Or would I? A resolution for the new year: to be more cautious of what I consider useless. Sorry, Rick.


posted by Rick and Christie

The Real American Hero...

i got this picture from this blog -Strangely Normal- and thought it was great! goes well with the Dan Rather, Peter Jennings story that cirulated a few weeks ago

posted by Rick and Christie

Be Relevant

This is a fantastic article about true relevance. Check it out.

posted by Rick and Christie