Thursday, March 31, 2005

the change of life

After reading about the changing of Wendy's tastebuds, I thought I would chronicle my own.

Until a few months ago, I would have considered bacon to be one of my all time favorite foods. Breakfast, lunch, dinner - didn't matter. On a sandwich, by itself, on a salad - couldn't of cared less. I would eat it prepared any way, on anything at any time. But all of a sudden something changed. Now, the very smell of the product turns my stomach. It's not that it ever made me sick or I had a bad experience - just one day Rick brought me a BLT for lunch and I couldn't even put down half of it. Since then, I don't even like to think about it. If I never have to see or sniff the fatty pork product again, I will be happy woman.

On the flip side, there is feta cheese. A couple years ago I would have fought someone over that stuff even getting near me. The texture, the aroma - all of it was yuck to me. I didn't even like to watch other people consume it. However now, although I don't eat it by itself, I love it on or in other foods. When we were in Seattle last month I ate this Greek salad that had fresh feta on it and I nearly perished in delight. And me ordering Greek salad is a whole different story in itself, a year or so ago, I wouldn't have eaten any of that either.

So, needless to say, my tastes, they are a changing. Olives and sauerkraut are still on my bad list, but you never know...
posted by Christie

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

music of my homeland

As embarassing as this is, I must admit that I do occassionally listen to country music. In fact, in high school, I really enjoyed Country Music and even frequented the Crystal River Country Jam - three days of every big name country music had to offer...

After repenting, and moving on to other music I have recently caught myself stopping on the country stations - mainly because in South Georgia, there really isn't anything else, but I fear part of me really does enjoy the music.

At any rate, I'm always amused - if not a little scared at the theology I find in the lyrics of today's most popular songs.

Take for example the song I ran into this morning:
Homewrecker - "Honey, I'm a Christian, but if you keep it up, I may just start kickin' your purty little butt"

Now, what does being a Christian have to do with kicking the other girls butt?

Or the now infamous - Jesus was a Country Boy
Since when did walkin' on dirt roads and bass fishing have anything to do with getting into heaven?

I don't know, maybe I'm missing it - but I think alot of people from the south are going to be surprised when they wake up one day and their "good" life and granddaddy's faith doesn't make the cut?
posted by Rick

possessions in abundance

I've never cosidered myself to be a hoarder, but I'm starting to reconsider. As I've been packing up our house to move, I have found the most junk. I decided to repent and throw all the garbage away. I've filled up our large outdoor trashcan five times - and I'm not even close to being finished. Although our new house feels much bigger than our old one - because of it being open and having high ceilings - it really isn't. So, downsizing was a must. The only thing that I refuse to chunk, are books. Now, some of my college textbooks did get the boot - I really don't see the need for pages filled with the evils of Algebra lurking in my home. So hopefully, I'm going to narrow all of our stuff down to the essentials. Well, except for my clothing, that's not junk, it's a collection.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

good english with minimal interpretation

Read why John Piper thinks that the English Standard Version (ESV) offers the best available balance of readability and literalness and why he thinks it should become the standard for the church.
posted by Christie

a mouthful of breakfast

As if we're not all fat enough as it is, Burger King has introduced a new breakfast item to its menu that will clog your arteries faster than you can say "super size me." The Enormous Omelet Sandwich. What a way to start your morning - "two slices of american cheese, two fluffy eggs stuffed with three crispy strips of bacon and a sizzling sausage patty, piled high on a toasted bun." The web-site says that you might also like to add french toast sticks and hash browns to your order so you can effectively bring the heart attack on a plate to its proper completion. The picture of gluttony on a bun is packed with 49 grams of fat, 720 calories, and 43 grams of carbs. Hope you're not planning on eating anything else for the rest of the day.
posted by Christie

Friday, March 25, 2005

missing the point

I read about a group in the Philippines who actually had themselves nailed to a cross to commemorate the Easter season. I guess throughout history there have been those who felt ascetic practices would draw them closer to God - and maybe this instance is nothing more than that. Part of me admires the faith level of someone who would endure the pain - but I wonder if they realize that "it is finished!" and everything they need for life and salvation was completed when Jesus died on the cross. We most definitely deserve punishment for our sins, but thankfully, Jesus took it upon Himself. Wow, that makes it a good Friday.
posted by Christie

Thursday, March 24, 2005

finger lickin' good

SAN FRANCISCO, California (Reuters) -- A diner at a Wendy's fast food restaurant in San Jose, California, found a human finger in a bowl of chili prepared by the chain, local officials said Wednesday.

"This individual apparently did take a spoonful, did have a finger in their mouth and then, you know, spit it out and recognized it," said Ben Gale, director of the department of environmental health for Santa Clara County. "Then they had some kind of emotional reaction and vomited." [<--imagine that!] Local officials launched an investigation after the incident Tuesday night and the medical examiner determined Wednesday that the object was a human finger. Officials are trying to determine whether the finger came in the raw materials Wendy's used to prepare the chili, Gale said.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

the irony of our justice system

I recently researched the animal anti-cruelty statues for the state of Georgia and found that it is illegal to deny an animal nourishment. Willful neglect of a dog will land its owner in jail and slapped with a significant fine. According to statute 16-12-4, "'willful neglect' means the intentional withholding of food and water required by an animal to prevent starvation or dehydration...A person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when they cause death or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering to any animal."

Interesting. Our animals have more rights than humans, created in God's image.

After the decisions that have been made concerning the Terri Schiavo case, there is no where to go but down. Next, we'll decide we can kill people because they are too ugly or they don't drive a nice car. But have no fear, your mutt will be safe.

As a country, we've decided that it is our right to declare when life begins. Now, we've decided when it ends.

But not really. I remember that God is sovereign. He is the only one who can take the life of Terry Schiavo.

No matter what laws we pass, life is not in the hands of men.
Do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul. Rather fear Him who is able to destroy both body and sould in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
posted by Christie

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

considering therapy

Okay, I'm officially scarred. For all the many times I've hit the "next blog" button, yes I have encountered some strange stuff, but never anything like what I did today. Do they not censor Blogspot? Oh, my! It will take years, maybe decades for me to forget what I saw. Honestly, I'm not even 100% sure what it was, but I do have a general idea. And if my assumptions are correct, I am then forced to wonder why anyone want to post a picture of that anyway. I mean, I don't even like for anyone else to see my x-rays, much less, well, blaaaah. No more "next blog" for me - that's for shizzle.
posted by Christie


well, we've worked three evenings and half a day...

so far, the living room, dining room, hallway, master bedroom closet and half the master bedroom have floor laid in them. I'm not sure if that's the fastest job ever done, but the floor looks good and I finally feel like we're making some progress.

Also, all the horrible cuts have been made - around columns, thresholds, doorframes, etc. so from here on out it's easy sailing.
posted by Rick

Monday, March 21, 2005

signs of the time...

why is it that america is looking for religion everywhere - but not really finding it anywhere?

when i read this article, i was reminded that it is often in the spectatcular, the showy and the unbelievable that people are looking for "signs" from above...

Satan? do you see Satan? I didn't - maybe two nostrils, but I thought it looked more like Puff the Magic Dragon myself...

I guess it's just not showy enough, not sensational enough that God would be born in a manger in Bethlehem, and die on a cross so that I could have salvation...
posted by Rick

good stuff

Last night at church we were blessed to see Sue, a lady that we have been ministering to for almost three years (with seemingly no response) make a public confession of her new found faith in Christ! There has already been such a drastic change in her life. On Wednesday night she brought nine people to church with her! She wants to share what she has found. Please pray for her as she has some very difficult circumstances to overcome. Her two sons have been a part of our youth ministry for a couple years now, so I'm trusting that this change in their mom's life willl bring drastic alteration to their entire family situation.
posted by Christie

the critic

After being confronted this weekend with the fact that I have become dangerously negative - I read this. I felt it worth the posting of its entire text.


Picture a young, blushing bride minutes from walking down the aisle and plunging into the biggest day of her life. Months have been spent preparing for this moment, but they do not begin to shadow the years she has been playing it out in her head. Every piece, every detail has been meticulously attended to and shown the uttermost care. Not one thing about this day has been overlooked.

As the bride turns in the mirror for that final look, you notice that in her motion she has upset a flower in her hair. And stepping closer you see that part of the stitching in the seam of her dress has come undone, only slightly, but still undone. Upon further inspection you notice that the ribbons on her shoulders are not symmetrical at all. In fact she naturally leans just slightly to the left, a fluke that can be attributed to a broken leg when she was 8.

At this point you become faced with a difficult situation. Some of these problems can be mended easily, some will take longer, and some are out of your hands. You realize that something must be done. You have to intervene.

So you pause, assess and naturally begin to verbally and acutely critique the bride from head to toe, taking pains not to miss the smallest flaw. After a complete critical review, you give her a look over to ensure your accuracy, and then briskly leave the room with the satisfaction of a job well done.

I hope I have conveyed the absurdity of this story.

In an attempt not to insult you with the obvious symbolism, I have to wonder if it is any less absurd when Christians do the same with the Church. C.S. Lewis wrote in his Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, “He would be a more helpful critic if he advised a cure as well as asserting many diseases.”

How perverse would it be for a person to constantly analyze his every action and behavior, recognize his shortcomings, mercilessly beat himself up over it and then walk away without ever doing anything to correct his mal-behavior? James, one of the first leaders of the early Church, wrote, “Any one who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

”I have always applied this in a strict literal and practical fashion, but I think that if the Church is also referred to as a body, then we can apply this same approach in this context. Deconstructing the “program” of the “modern Church” (insert your own personal connotations here) in its attempt, or lack of, to make any significant ripple today is easy sport and can sometimes even bring a personal sense of noble genius.

Upon an objective reading and comparison of what Scripture has to say about the Church, one could easily come to the conclusion that the Church today is struggling at best in the hostile sea of American society and culture. And anyone with a mouth and even half a brain can spout off their personal opinion of how the Church in America is sinking faster than the Titanic. But few are offering solutions, and even fewer are offering solutions in love.

Spiteful critique is like a self-inflicted wound on the body. It’s one thing to critique the Church; it’s another thing to offer a solution, and still another thing to offer a solution that promotes unity and love. Sadly enough, there are several “solution” groups that are genuinely attempting to relate the truth of the Gospel to society and culture but have been born out of a negative, in some cases even rebellious, reflex to the “modern Church.” This cannot please the heart of God. Not only is the bride being verbally assaulted, but she now has several internal tumors eating her alive. It cannot be healthy for the body to be at war with itself.

Jesus prayed for the Church, saying, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Jesus also told His disciples, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

In these passages, Jesus expressly states that the Church will be proved true with its love and unity. America is a land of several diverse culture groups that did not exist back during the glory days of the strong influential Church, and these culture groups speak several different “languages” that necessitate the several different solution groups.

There are people who need a church with programs, pews, hymns, three points and a poem. And there are others who need candles, paints, blogs, guitars and film clips. I believe it is the heart of God for all His body, no matter what “language” they speak, to be in complete love and unity, uplifting and encouraging the body.

I have written this in fear of being ironically hypocritical, but would like to conclude that negative criticism offered without a solution promoting unity and love is nothing more than attacking the bride.

Chris Troutman, Relevant Magazine

posted by Christie

Friday, March 18, 2005

who knew?

Maybe this is strange, but I really like studying etymology. I found the origin of today's Word of the Day (from Merriam Webster) to be rather interesting.

capricious - \kuh-PRISH-us\ - adjective
: goverened or characterized by sudden, impulsive and seemingly unmotivated ideas or actions : unpredictable

Did You Know?
The noun "caprice," which first appeared in English in the mid-17th century, is a synonym of "whim." Evidence shows that the adjective "capricious" debuted about sixty years before "caprice"; however, it's likely that both words derived via French from the Italian "capriccio," which originally referred not to a sudden desire, but to a sudden shudder of fear. "Capriccio" in turn derives from the Italian "capo," meaning "head," and "riccio," the word for "hedgehog." Someone who shuddered in fear, therefore, was said to have a "hedgehog head"—meaning that his or her hair stood on end like the spines of a hedgehog. Though no longer associated with fear, "capricious" now describes someone who acts through impulse instead of reason, perhaps as a fearful person might.
posted by Christie


We began our flooring yesterday. I don't know if any of you have ever put down laminate flooring before - I have, but I don't remember it being this difficult. I was sure I would lose my religion last night, trying to get the room started was a nightmare. I wasn't sure I could make it through the ordeal without swearing. But finally, I got the first two rows started and it was downhill from there. I thought for sure I would have the living room and dining room - which is really one big room - completed last night, but 2 blisters, a busted up knee, and 12 hours later I ended up finishing just 2/3 of the living room.

But now, I know how to conquer the rest of the house...
posted by Rick

viewer discretion advised

Although I don't watch a lot of tv, sometimes late in the evenings I enjoy sitting down with Rick and flipping through the channels. Often we end up watching a documentary about an event in history - or maybe Cold Case Files, or some kind of forensic show. We will even watch Trading Spaces, What Not to Wear or even FoodTV. However, there are nights when the remote takes a rest upon discovery of one of the two channels of MTV that we get. Sometimes MTV provides us viewing entertainment through The Real World, Jackass, Wild Boyz or I Want a Famous Face - but the other night - although I'm not sure I would call it "viewing entertainment" - we watched Wonder Showzen. I am really at a loss for adequate words to describe the feelings and thoughts that this 30 min. program sparked in me. Although there were parts of it that were downright hilarious - some of it was extremely offensive. It's based on a comedy/variety show format - with puppets, cartoons, kids and educational films. The shows website describes itself pretty accurately, "Wonder Showzen takes your favorite things about watching tv as a kid and turns them into a twisted nightmare." If you watch the video that is on the link, you will understand, perfectly. From Dog OBGYN to the "letter of the day" having relations with another letter (interesting though, the letter of the day was "N" - N had sex with an S - and they birthed an I - as they all stood together - they spelled S-I-N), to the fake advertisment for Sensual Baby Oil ("because you're never too young to heat up the night") - this show is pretty rotten. Wonder Showzen really isn't that wonderful after all.
posted by Christie

Thursday, March 17, 2005

watch out...

for some changes here at A Couple of Words. The dots are nice, but they've grown a little old - and also after seeing what Michael and Charlie have done to their site, I was inspired. I've been working on a new template and trying to get it tweaked just right before publishing it. Hopefully, by the weekend or before - you won't recognize the place.

Oh, and, I hope you guys like brown...
posted by Christie

our new home...

It's official -

I own land... I think I'll have to walk around and beat my chest a little. Granted it's only a little over a half acre - but it is on a canal (spelled d-i-t-c-h) or possibly would better be considered a creek. And there is a new home in the middle of it. Christie is very excited, as am I.

It was a somewhat scary feeling as we gathered at the attorney's office to sign the papers yesterday. There was the banker, the builder, the realtor, the attorney and the insurance man, and then there was Christie and me. Everyone walked away with their checks, and I walked away with a mortgage - so as long as the check makes it to the bank by the 15th of every month, I'll have no problems.

Pictures to come soon. I'm heading to the house to put down our flooring today.
posted by Rick

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

misery defined

"Wedgie," a teenager's locker-room nightmare, has made it into the dictionary. Webster's New World College Dictionary, based in Cleveland, said "wedgie" was among its new additions to its latest edition. The new edition will carry this listing: "wedgie: noun. a prank in which the victim's undershorts are jerked upward so as to become wedged between the buttocks."
AP March 15, 2005
posted by Christie

Monday, March 14, 2005

the local swill...

I'm not sure what the allure is, but buffet dining is so popular here in the South. Everyone seems to enjoy herding up to the massive trough of starches like cows. The tragedy of this type of eating was made all the more evident to me yesterday as we were stuck partaking of a country buffet with family. First of all, almost every food prepared was either white or yellow in color. There was rice, potatoes, macaroni & cheese, dressing and corn. Barely a hint of green to be found anywhere. And of course, everything that possibly could be fried, was. Worst of all, they served salt pork retrieved from the back of a hog carcass, otherwise known as fatback. Now, never have I even tasted of this particular food, but just the thought of it will keep me away from any buffet for quite a while. Oh, and the sneezeguard, well it looked as if someone had put it to good use. Ick.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Hymnal's rebuttal...

I found this rebuttal to the reply Micah made to this post over at Drivetrain and thought it worthy of a post of its own...

A young, new Christian went to his local church usually, but one weekend attended a small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

"Well," said the young man, "It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs."

"Hymns," said his wife, "What are those?" "Oh, they're okay. They're sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife. The young man said, "Well it's like this - If I were to say to you, 'Martha, the cows are in the corn,' well that would be a regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you:
"Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Hearkenest they in God's sun or his rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn.
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn."

"Then, if I were to do only verses one, two and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."
posted by Rick

Monday, March 07, 2005

New times...

Sorry for the lack of blogging on my part the past few weeks. If it weren't for my wife, A Couple of Words would be a pretty lonely place.

I've been out of town quite a bit this month, I spent 13 nights in a hotel during the month of February, as we began the month in Seattle at the Acts 29 Bootcamp, then headed to Jax for the pastor's convention and to Atlanta for the Georgia Baptist Convention Evangelism Conference. It's not that I mind so much being gone, but it has made life hectic - especially since Christie could only attend the A29 Conf. To top it off, we're in the middle of purchasing a house, trying to get it painted and flooring put down, so we're busy...

...but we're happy. Things are going exremely well at the church. Our new pastor has come in with vision and passion - driving the church to become a place of change, outreach, love, grace and growth. The Spirit is becoming a reality to be experienced instead of an ideal to be discussed. We're beginning to see excitement build in the heart's of our congregation as slowly, we are seeing lives touched and changed. This Sunday, Christie and I saw a lady in the altar that we've been ministering to for nearly two years - last Sunday night was her first night in church during that time. Last week, we saw a little girl accept Christ and her mother join the church. Next week, I'll have the chance to baptize one of our teenagers that the Lord allowed me to lead to Christ a few months ago... I could go on, and on, yet I'm silenced by the immensity of God's sovereign grace. We are seeing God bring fruit to a ministry we'd feared had grown dry. We're seeing freedom in Christ as He is providing us with guidance and direction through our pastor - it's an exciting thing when the church begins to function as she should.

Last night, our pastor unveiled "The Plan" that he's been putting together for the past six weeks - a large part of our need to go to these conferences. It is amazing to me to see God bring together the hearts and ideas of men. Things that I've been praying about and knowing we needed to add to the church for over a year are becoming a reality as God has placed them on the hearts of our pastor and music minister - confirming for each of us that God is behind The Plan.

I think the most exciting prospect for me is the beginning of a new service - and actually a new ministry targeting young adults in our community. We've kicked around the idea for awhile and have finally decided to start a very modern, contemporary worship service on Saturday nights. Complete with a Coffee house. Our ministry will be called "emerge" - be in prayer, We've got 9 1/2 weeks to kick off...

At any rate, our people are excited and ready to go! True revival may not be far away.
posted by Rick

I won't quit my day job...

I am the messiest painter ever. Really I am. If it is possible to happen to you while painting, it has happened to me. I have spilled paint everywhere - and I don't mean just a drop or two - we're talking entire gallons! It is not unusal for me to drop rollers on my head, sit on rollers, step on get the picture. (Also, note that all of those rollers are always drenched in paint.) My ambition has led me to dump paint in my mouth, my eyes, my ears and my nose. Since I tend to be messy, Rick has prohibited me from using a ladder. I have a difficult enough time painting while firmly planted on the floor - he says painting in the air is definitely out of the question. I'm thinking of inquiring of whether or not scaffolding would be acceptable - somehow, I think I already know the answer.

Considering the fact that we have just begun painting our new house - my past could spell imminent disaster. Thankfully, the flooring has yet to be installed - so that most assuredly works in my favor. Spilling paint on bare concrete that will be covered up with wood in a few weeks is easier to handle than spilling it on new carpet. I know, I've done both. So for now, I just have to worry about keeping the paint off of me. I'm going to try.
posted by Christie

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Eating Right

We partook of a most delicious dinner this evening. We went to Patty's Coffee Bean, a tucked away, trendy spot not too far from here. We began our meal with some of the best brushetta I've ever had. It was loaded with pesto, olives, fresh tomatoes and melted provolone. I don't even like olives, but this stuff was yummy. We then had a ribeye, cooked perfectly - a potato that had been baked in such a vast amount of butter that I'm sure it was a sin for me to ingest - and a salad served with homeade ranch dressing. To top it all off we were entertained the entire time with live music. Ambiance at its finest. Afer finishing our meal, we left the restaurant and went to Wal-Mart, errrhhhh, so much for ambiance.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

One Decade

Today, Yahoo! celebrates its 10 year anniversary. And although lots of folks are now Googleites - Yahoo! is still where it's at for me. Check out what their front page looked like in 1995. They sure have come a long way.

Long live Yahoo!
posted by Christie

Flashback - 3rd Grade!

As if virtually everything from the 80's and early 90's hadn't already made a comeback - now this. What's next?

Addendum: After posting this, Rickie Wilson provided me with this link. So sad, but true. Next thing you know, it will be Hammer Time.
posted by Christie

Clear as mud?

Just found a comment that was posted a while ago (2/25) that I thought I would respond to and hopefully bring some clarification. I made the, what I believe to be true - but admittedly broad statement that much of emerging church theology was "toilet water." What I was asserting was that, personally, not all, but a large portion of what I have seen and read concerning churches that consider themselves "emerging" is lacking as far as theology is concerned. A recent example would be Rick's visit last night to 7:22 - a nationally known ministry of Northpoint Community Church near Atlanta geared for 20 somethings and typically considered to be of the emerging sort. After the music, and 30 minutes into the sermon - he walked out because of everything that had been sung and spoken - there was no mention of Jesus. From my observations, too much of the emerging movement is focused on community at the sake of truth. But, this is true of much more than the emerging church - people in general don't want to be offensive. However, what we miss sometimes is that if the Gospel is preached - there is going to be offense taken. In its very nature, the Gospel offends.

Certainly, not all of the emerging movement fits into the category of which I spoke - and certainly there are emergents who lift high Jesus Christ as the only way to the Father and who unashamedly declare the truth from the Word of God. No question about that. It is just my prayer that in whatever movement is occuring and whatever movement is to come, essential theological issues will not be swept under the rug.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

May We Rent No More!

As of March 15, we will officially be home owners. Really, this whole thing seemed to come out of nowhere - but we are excited and anxiously awaiting the opportunity to move in. It's a brand new house, in one of our favorite areas, and across from some of our favorite people. Right now we are painting - replacing almost white walls with a vast array of earth tones. The floor plan is perfect for us and exactly what I would have picked had we of built it ourselves. It's very open, with high ceilings and lots of windows. We will post pictures sometime soon.
posted by Christie