Thursday, July 28, 2005

where a kid can be a kid

Yay, now I can legally play in the big ball pit!
posted by Christie

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

shhhhhhh




As a nice surprise, I ordered Rick some Rainbow flip-flops yesterday. The dark brown ones. He's been wearing Target imitations all summer, and they're beginning to fall apart. Don't worry though, since he never reads, writes or even visits here anymore, this post surely won't give it away.
posted by Christie

Saturday, July 23, 2005

five years and counting

Although this is a little late, and he'll probably never read it - I want to wish my nephew Daniel, a late happy fifth birthday. Daniel was born the summer before I married and from even before that moment, I loved that little boy more than I ever thought possible. We've always had a special bond and a couple years ago he decided that I was not only his aunt, but his "best friend," too. Not much has changed. Although part of me hates to see him growing up, he's turning into such a neat little boy. Happy birthday to that precious, chubby, blonde haired fella that I love. Here is something I wrote about him when he was born, that I haven't thought of in a very long time.

A little boy was born today
Perfect form in every way
Helpless cry I heard from you
Your precious voice is brand new

I've never seen a sweeter face
It shines as bright as any star
It reflects the Father's grace
And is the one who stole my heart

Holding you is holding love
Your name like honey on my tongue
Sleepy eyes close to rest
And on your cheek I put a kiss

Hope was born on the day
That my eyes beheld your face
Daniel, in my heart's where you belong
posted by Christie

light at the end of the tunnel

For months now, our yard has been nothing more than a huge dirt pile - interrupted only by random weeds scattered about. Just recently has the area even been cleared of much of the debris left by the builders. You know, beer bottles, beer cans, beer cups, beer pitchers - etcetera. However, all of that is about to change. Landscaping is just around the corner. We've found a good price on sod and have been collecting shrubs and other plants here and there. The best thing is that included in the price of the sod, is installation. Rick is probably going to install the sprinkler system for us - and then we'll be ready to go. Thankfully, our yard lends itself to some areas remaining pretty natural, so we're going to try and keep it simple. Although I'm sure it will continue to be a work in progress, this will be a huge step for us. I'll try and post some real pictures when we finish.
posted by Christie

Friday, July 22, 2005

did you make the list?

Visit The Church Report and you can read about the top fifty most influential churches in the nation. Most that you would expect to find are included, but you might still be surprised by who isn't . Mars Hill Church in Seattle made number 23, right behind First Baptist Atlanta. Not bad. But if you talked to most here in Georgia, Dr. Stanley is still numero uno. He's okay, but I've yet to be persuaded.
posted by Christie

Thursday, July 21, 2005

to whom it may concern

I love the brethren and all, but do you have to give us your tithe at Wal-Mart? Can we just peruse the detergent aisle without having to receive a $300 payment for next months mission trip? And yes, your assumptions are correct - we are living, breathing commentaries - available 24 hours a day. So sure, it's no problem, call us at 11 pm and let us explain to you the hidden mysteries of both the Old and New Testaments. Don't know how to pronounce a name or city in the Bible? We don't mind, go ahead and buzz our place about 11:30 for that one. Just make sure the phone rings at least 5 or 6 times so we'll have ample opportunity to get out of bed and come to the rescue. And also, feel free to use us as a walking phone book service. Need another church members number? Well certainly we have each and every one of them memorized by now, so don't go to all the trouble of looking it up yourself - that would be silly. Can't get in touch with a hard to find church member? Then call me at work and I'll make certain I relay the message to them upon my daily visit to their home. Not a problem. Forgotten what time an event occurring next week is scheduled to begin? Don't call the church office between 9-5, call us during dinner instead - that makes perfect sense. And lastly, do you have nothing to say, and are in desperate need of someone to say it to? Then just call our house every five minutes or so for two or three hours straight, but whatever you do, please don't leave a message and wait for us to return your call at our convenience - that would be absolutely ridiculous.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

a great impression

Just when you thought a pair of thongs - that's flip flops - couldn't get any cooler, these come along.

And they even come complete with a Scripture reference...

"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news." (Romans 10:15)

Wow, they're stylish and biblical. What a combination.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

the pressure is on

Okay, I understand that scuba diving could sound fun at first glance. The ocean, beautiful water, exotic fish, peace and quiet. But somehow, I think the fun stops there. At that point things come into play like, shark attacks, drowning, nitrogen narcosis, explosion of the eardrums, etcetera. However, despite all of those treacherous possibilities, Rick has decided to embark upon the adventure anyway. He has to complete four open water dives, one of which he already has. His final dive will be at a spring in Florida.

Through all of this, he has steadily been attempting to convice me of my need to strap on an underwater breathing apparatus and take a dive with him. To begin with, I was completely opposed to even the thought of such an undertaking - but, to my surprise, I am softening. If I do decide to take the plunge, I think I will let him finish his certification and then get started afterwards. That way, he can give me tips as I go, and also, I can wait to see whether or not he dies from any of the previoiusly mentioned maladies. If he does, I definitely think I will find another hobby.
posted by Christie

Sunday, July 17, 2005

say what?

The Dialectizer is hilarious. Here, I've translated my last post into "jive."

Props to Micah fuh da 411.

Just in case some uh ya' dun didn't know, so cut me some slack, Jack...we live in de middle uh nowhere. We is two, count em' two, hours fum some mall, restaurants, Target, etcetera. WORD! When we fust moved here, some sucka told us about dis great mall only fo'ty-five minutes away. Slap mah fro! ah' wuz elated. However, when ah' arrived and saw dat Goody's wuz de main sto'e in dis "mall" - ah' realized dat da sucka' who'd directed me dere had obviously been isolated fo' far t'lengdy some puh'iod uh time. Well, de misfo'tune uh our locale gots caused us t'greatly enjoy our trips t'de big city, howeva' few and far between dey may be. We've recently realized dough, plum how baaaad it's gotsten. 'S coo', bro. We received some gift certificate at Christmas fo' one uh our favo'ite restaurants - and only dis weekend dun did we actually dig t'use it. Man! And afta' all de wait, ah' ended down digtin' sick t'my stomach and leavin' Rick in de restaurant t'eat while ah' went outside and laid waaay down in de vehicle. ah' dun did, at least, dig t'enjoy mah' bruschetta befo'e da nausea hit. Man!..and some trip t'de mall. And nope, dere wuzn't some Goody's in dis one. Dankfully. Slap mah fro!

And I couldn't resist translating the 23rd Psalm either. From King James, to "Elmer Fudd." Whod've ever guessed.

De Wowd is my Shephewd; I shaww not want. He makef me to wie down in gween pastuwes: He weadef me beside the stiww watews. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! He westowef my souw: He weadef me in the paths of wighteousness fow His name' sake. Yea, though I wawk thwough the vawwey of the shadow of death, I wiww feaw no eviw: Fow thou awt wif me; Dy wod and thy staff, they comfowt me. Dou pwepawest a tabwe befowe me in the pwesence of mine enemies; Dou annointest my head wif oiw; My cup wunnef ovew. Suwewy goodness and mewcy shaww fowwow me aww the days of my wife, and I wiww dweww in the House of the Wowd fowevew.
posted by Christie

country come to town

Just in case some of you didn't know...we live in the middle of nowhere. We are two, count em' two, hours from a mall, restaurants, Target, etcetera. When we first moved here, someone told us about this great mall only forty-five minutes away. I was elated. However, when I arrived and saw that Goody's was the main store in this "mall" - I realized that the person who'd directed me there had obviously been isolated for far to lengthy a period of time. Well, the misfortune of our locale has caused us to greatly enjoy our trips to the big city, however few and far between they may be. We've recently realized though, just how bad it's gotten. We received a gift certificate at Christmas for one of our favorite restaurants - and only this weekend did we actually get to use it. And after all the wait, I ended up getting sick to my stomach and leaving Rick in the restaurant to eat while I went outside and laid down in the vehicle. I did, at least, get to enjoy my bruschetta before the nausea hit...and a trip to the mall. And nope, there wasn't a Goody's in this one. Thankfully.
posted by Christie

Thursday, July 14, 2005

a flight problem

As if the Left Behind books, movies and other random propaganda weren't enough - now this. I guess if you lose - you must miss the rapture, or something. But, the good news is that you won't have to wait out the entire seven years of the tribulation and you can just start the game over. Were it not for grace.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

too much information

Call me old fashioned, but I just haven't gotten into movies with alternate endings. I fully understand that the endings were possibilities the directors considered - and I admire their creativity. I just wish they'd keep it to themselves. I'm just one who desires certainty and confidence in how films conclude. I care nothing about delving into other possibilities or exploring this or that likelihood. You might tell me to just not watch the alternate endings, but that doesn't help, because I know they exist and even that bothers me. Whatever happened to things being absolute?
posted by Christie

Monday, July 11, 2005

conversation piece?



Yep, this tee is a must for every serious theologian. You can check this one, and others, out at Random Shirts. Here's another of my favorites.
posted by Christie

Thursday, July 07, 2005

marking his territory



Maybe the reality show idea, Extreme Makeover:K9 isn't such a bad idea after all. I definitely think that Sam would make a great first guest.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

shifting gears

Rick got his Jeep sometime back in the Fall, and although I spent the first couple of weeks trying to master that dern clutch - I quickly became frustrated and gave up the pursuit. I guess if I'd of haaaaad to drive it somewhere, I could have, but I promise you, it would have been a bumpy ride. However, recent days have seen an awakening of sorts between me and my relationship with that ungodly third pedal.

A few weeks ago we were riding down the road and it was as if an angel touched me on the shoulder and told me to take over the wheel. I did - and I made it home flawlessly. Yep, a whole quarter of a mile without any cases of wiplash. I felt accomplished.

Well, obviously God knew what He was doing - because only a few days later my car would break down and that beast of a vehicle would be my main mode of transport, now for almost a week. I was thrown right into the deep end and believe it or not, I'm actually staying afloat. I have recently begun mastering what it means to "ease." Before, I had two modes: choke out - or smoke out. Slowly, but surely, I'm finding a middle ground.

However, there are some aspects of a manual vehicle, that I don't think I will ever fully comprehend. I noticed this morning that I don't use my blinker in the Jeep. I mean, between controlling the gas pedal, the brake, clutch, gear shift, and of course CD player - who has enough left in them to consider turn signals? I don't even want to think about windshield wipers. Maybe it won't rain any time soon.

But, despite all the negative things about this manly hunk of machinery, I do have a most favorite gear, and I wish that all others were more like it. Neutral. What a nice option. No bumping, grinding, jerking or the like. Ahhhh, a breath of fresh air. My next task will be the uphill battle. That may take a while. So for now, if you see me on an incline - I'd stay back at least 50 feet if I were you.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

the danger zone

Most people swear that when I have kids I will change my mind about a lot of things. I'm sure they're right, because I know being a parent transforms you in a way that nothing else can. It's easy on this side of parenthood to say you'll do this or that - but the true test doesn't come until you bring your baby home and all of a sudden realize you possess more love for that little creature than you ever thought possible. Or when he's 12 years old and driving you crazy. Then, will I feel the same way about issues? Will I still desire the same things for my child? I don't know if I will or not. But I do know that I want to raise my children to love and honor Jesus supremely, no matter the cost. How that will exactly play out in their life, I guess time will tell.

My parents raised me to be safe. Certainly, in some aspects, it was a noble cause. They taught me not to run with the cutlery, talk to strangers, or stick tweezers in the electrical socket. All good things. But they also taught me, in many aspects, a very safe Christianity. If there is such a thing. It was very man centered and consisted of doing what would deliver the most immediate benefit to my family, my health, my education, etcetera. The Gospel was made more palatable by tweaking it here and there, because it couldn't mean this if it meant you had to do that. Like, it just couldn't be possible that taking your children on a dangerous mission field on the other side of the world could be of God, because they might be harmed. Well, when I hold my first precious baby in my arms, I might change my mind - but I want to demonstrate to my children a trust in God firm enough to endure danger. I don't want to spend my entire life modeling a sanitized and safe Christianity to my kids. I think of Perpetua, a martyr in the early church, who was separated from her nursing baby because of her refusal to deny Christ. While jailed, her father brought her son to her, begging her to recant, yet she refused to apostacize. She was later torn apart by wild beasts and her child was left motherless. Safe? Not hardly. Could I do the same thing? Probably not. But I want my children to one day learn to trust God despite the consequences, whether they be physical, or whatever. I guess this is all easy to say here, but what about when the rubber meets the road? Maybe I will think differently...but I hope not.
posted by Christie

if looks could kill

Okay, if you visit this site, you are either bored...or really, really bored.
posted by Christie

Monday, July 04, 2005

land of the free?

I guess I'm not very patriotic. Maybe I should be, I don't know. I mean, I greatly admire those who have fought for our country - my own father did. There is a man in our church who was captured in France during WWII and barely escaped with his life - I honor him for his service. In no way would I ever want to downplay the sacrifice that so many have made so that our country might be free. That's really not even the issue here.

There is a part of me really adores America. It offers me comforts far too many to name. And I even get that warm fuzzy feeling every now and again when I hear someone sing that countrified Lee Greenwood song that everyone feels compelled to stand up for and salute. I voluntarily gave money to the FDNY after 9/11. I like fireworks, BBQ, Wal-Mart and even apple pie. Most would consider me to be a good American and upstanding citizen. Yet, there are often feelings about my country that lurk inside, that I would rarely express. Mainly, because if nothing else is understood where I'm from, the fact that being a Christian means loving America and voting Republican, certainly is.

So here begins my confession. Go ahead, I'm prepared - call me a rebel, anti-American, traitor - whatever - but I don't always like saluting the flag. I usually do it, but I usually don't mean it. Maybe it's just trivial or arguing semantics, but I have a problem pledging my allegiance to a nation, and an even bigger problem having to do it in church. I am committed to America, I guess - but I'm also committed to brushing my teeth and keeping my house clean. I struggle because I sit here, enjoying all that America has to offer, while criticizing it pretty harshly.

I certainly believe that God has blessed America and I thank Him for that - but I don't think that as a country we're chosen or any more special to Him than, say, Syria or Somalia. America has become very arrogant, and me right along with her. Its Christianity is stale and lifeless, and often considered nothing more than a segment of the political right. Our churches may be massive, but they're weak. America offers freedom, but there seems to be a paradox, because so few are really free. We're able to worship openly, but we rarely even do so privately. Yet, in places where people are dying - that is where the Gospel is thriving. China puts more believers in prison than any other country, yet the Church grows. Around 3000 Chinese come to Christ each day. The house church movement, which accounts for a large portion of China's Christians, has endured unbelievable persecution, yet the Gospel is still preached - no matter the cost. In Sudan, the Muslim government has declared jihad against the areas populated by Christians. Omar Hassan al-Turabi, one of Sudan's Islamic leaders, has stated that anyone who opposes Islam “has no future." Fathers are killed. Mothers are raped. Children are sold into slavery. But the Body grows.

Whether I like it or not, I live in America. Obviously, I'm no flag-waving nationalist, but I realize that God, in His sovereignty, placed me here for a specific purpose. Do I want to live in a country that is bombarded with persecution? I don't know. But I know I want more. I want real freedom - and it seems the only place freedom is authentically experienced is where it is restricted. Go figure.
posted by Christie

Saturday, July 02, 2005

the call of duty


While searching for some information about the Vietnam War, low and behold, I find a picture of my papa! My dad was in the 75th Airborne Ranger Long Range Patrol Detachment M Company. His regiment was the premier infantry unit for the Army. This is a picture of my dad with an M-60 at a range in January of 1969.
posted by Christie

Friday, July 01, 2005

genesis and montel

If you haven't downloaded and listened to some of Mark Driscoll's sermons, you must. He's the pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle and he mixes some of the best exegetical Bible teaching around, with some of the funniest darn stuff you've ever heard in your life.

Last weeks sermon was from Genesis 38, and this is the description:

"With the story of Judah and Tamar, the hillbilly redneck soap opera that is Jacob's family takes a very daytime television trash talk show turn"

I mean, how could you not want to listen to something like that? You can find downloads on the mp3/audio section of their website.
posted by Christie

taking a road trip

ahh, it's that time of year again. The sun is shining, the occassional breeze is blowing, the mercury's rising and the gnats are biting - all part of a beautiful South Georgia summer.

So, we're headed on a road trip... Lifeway's Ramblin' Roadtrip, that is.

Vacation Bible School... I've often described it as "the best of times, the worst of times." We stay up late, get up early and work like mad to learn the songs and dances, to decorate the church with Lifeway's latest theme, we play silly games and make crazy snacks and then we always recreate toilet paper rolls - this year into ultra sensitive night vision goggles - or at least binoculars. It has been a good year, and in about six hours, it will be an even better year - VBS will officially be over (except for the Sunday night closing ceremony). Last year we had a mere 70-something kids enroll. This year, we're pushing 170. Every previous year from the time I've entered the ministry, VBS has been one of my main responsiblities - staffing, leading, directing, decorating, dancing, crafting, even singing (and most of you know I can't sing) - but this year, we have a Children's minister - so I've been able to assist. Leading Rec time and walking around with my bull horn to make sure children are behaving. It's been an enjoyable year, but I'll be glad to see it gone.

We actually had a mother ask us yesterday: "My kids are having such a great time, do you think you will extend this another week?"

Sorry ma'am not a chance...

Our only goal: to reach a family, a student, a child - and then witness the life change that comes with new birth. We've seen several unchurched students enter the doors this week. Let's pray that some of them will leave a new creation - with new hope and a new Spirit.
posted by Rick
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