Monday, October 31, 2005

Today celebrates the 488th anniversary of, by far, one of the greatest events in history. Due to much disillusionment with the teachings of the Catholic church and their sale of indulgences - on this day in 1517 - Doctor Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the wall of the Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany. Although discussion may surround some of his points, there is no doubt that Luther's actions brought the true meaning of the Gospel - salvation in Christ alone - to light during a very dark time. It is terribly sad how few modern Christians understand the deep importance of the Protestant Reformation and its beginnings with God stirring the heart of Martin Luther. Praise God for His sovereign work through the ages!

Thou who art Three in unity, true God from all eternity,
The sun is fading from our sight, shine Thou on us with heavenly light.

We praise Thee with the dawning day, to Thee at evening also pray;
With our poor song we worship Thee, now, ever, and eternally.

Let God the Father be adored, and God the Son, the only Lord,
And God the Holy Spirit be, adored throughout eternity! - Martin Luther
posted by Christie

Friday, October 28, 2005

how much is your blog worth?


My blog is worth $6,209.94.
How much is your blog worth?



There is not explanation as to why our blog is worth over $6,000.00, but I sure wish someone would help me out here. An extra 6 grand would be nice right about now...
posted by Rick
If you get a chance, be sure to check out Dateline NBC this evening. Tom Brokaw will be examining the "religious revolution" in America. In particular, he will take a look at the influence that evangelical Christianity has played in American politics. The one hour special will feature Ted Haggard, and others and will air at 8:00 pm/et.

And in perfect fashion, our very own Amy Grant will follow at 9:00 pm/et with her new show Three Wishes. So, tell me, how much more incentive do you really need?
posted by Christie

Thursday, October 27, 2005

cha-ching

Yesterday evening I slipped into a pair of jeans that I haven't had on in months. As I finished getting dressed, I realized that something seemed to be crumpled up in my pocket. Of course, I figured it was merely an old receipt or maybe a stub from a movie ticket. However, as I reached in to retrieve the item and almost in the same motion, throw it away - I saw green. It happened to only be $20 worth of green, but that's $20 extra that I didn't know I had. Usually when I get extra money like that I'll go stick it in savings, but as of yet, I'm undecided on what I'm going to do with this particular find. I'll try not to spend it all in one place.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I've just hung up the phone with Jim at Ski Celebration (the former youth pastor, turned ski trip consultant, who handles our trip each year).

This year, we're returning to Snow Shoe, WV. And not just returning, but upgrading as well. Staying in the condos, instead of the mildew infested rooms of last year. We'll be skiing December 19, 20 & 21 and heading back home on the 22nd... all for the low cost of only $263/person - 1/2 of what it costs the week after Christmas!

And the really good news is that they have just received their first snow fall of the season - 10" (check out the pictures). So we should be hitting the slopes and skiing the powder in less than two months.

The ski trip is one of our favorite trips we take each year...plenty of down time to just hang out and be with the kids. And of course lots and lots of fun...Christie and I have both even hit a black a time or two.
posted by Rick
I don't really know a great deal about sports. I can keep up with most any game of football, basketball, baseball, soccer, etc. But for the most part, I'm more of a take it or leave it kind of girl. I don't get too involved in any aspect of any game. However, despite that fact, there is a certain issue in the world of sporting that bothers me deeply. I don't, repeat don't, like the way some of the teams names have been abbreviated. Who decided to call the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox the Chisox and the Bosox? Bosox, okay maybe I'll give you that one. But the Chicago abbreviation is forced. It just is. It's bad. It's not cute. And don't even get me started on UConn and UMass. Those are even worse.
posted by Christie
For a long list of different reasons, Fall is my favorite time of year. Although I love the warmth of summer, there is something about the cold, crisp air of Autumn that invigorates me. Strangely, I consider a field full of dead, brown grass and barren trees to be just as beautiful, if not more so, than one covered in the new growth of Spring.

Things just happen as the last few months of the year wind down that don't seem to take place any other time. Like last night. You could sit on our back patio with a cup of hot chocolate, smell the aroma of burning leaves, and watch our neighbors through a line of pines as they enjoyed a bonfire and played the banjo. Even though, at least for us, this is one of our busiest times of the year, it's easier for me to relax and and reflect on God, life and myself.

posted by Christie
posted by Christie

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Post Secret is a particularly interesting site that allows people to send in home made postcards that reveal secrets they've never admitted to anyone before. The notes are in turn posted on the Post Secret blog for all the world to see. The secrets range from strange, funny, to extremely sad. I've yet to send one in. If I do, I'll let you know. But then, it wouldn't be a secret.

By the way, a couple of the post cards are R rated, for partial nudity. Viewer discretion advised.

You can check the site out here.
posted by Christie
We've endured the last three winters without a trace of central heat. And although it doesn't get extremely cold where we live, it can get pretty nippy some days. For a host of reasons including bad duct work, we have relied exclusively on space heaters to warm our house. And they actually did a decent job, until you unplug them, leave for a week and return to a sub-zero degree house. After getting back from one trip, I remember cranking up the heaters and having to snuggle with Rick on the couch, in my ski jacket and thermals, until I got warm. Some days, it got kind of miserable. However, since moving and purchasing our new house, this year will be an entirely different story. I promise, I will enjoy instant warmth more than I ever have before.
posted by Christie

Friday, October 21, 2005

whaddya think?

I like the colors, lines and simplicity of this template. However, there are still a few kinks left to work out if I intend on leaving it for very long. How is it showing up on your screen? Any thoughts? Suggestions? Micah might help me with a pictoral title, and I think that would look especially nice. I guess we'll see.

posted by Christie
posted by Christie

starbucks stirs things up

A while back Starbucks began a campaign entitled, "The Way I See It." Basically, the effort centers around printing quotes of writers, artists and philosophers on Starbucks coffee cups. You may remember the controversy that surrounded quote #43, by Armistead Maupin. In the quote he stated, "My only regret about being gay is that I repressed it for so long. I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life is too da-- short." Now, one more notable, with a somewhat different opinon on life than Maupin, can officially be added to the list of those whose thoughts will be printed on Starbucks steaming cups of joe. Yep, it's none other than Rick Warren. Although the exact quote is yet to be released, it's rumored that it will be something from The Purpose Driven Life. You can read more here.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

get outta here

We've been attempting to plan a short getaway sometime in the near future. We know if we don't take action before the holidays, that it's unlikely a trip will ever actually transpire. So far, we're undecided on when we want to go and where we want to head. However, one thing that we would like to do is see Derek Webb again. And beginning November 12, his tour takes a dive in the deep south, hitting several venues not too far from us. We could easily make Birmingham, Jacksonville, Raleigh or Charlotte and catch a concert for less than $15/person. If you've never had the opportunity to see Derek Webb live, you're really missing out. He began his solo career performing house shows for only about twenty people at a time. And although the crowd has grown somewhat, his concerts are still small, laid-back and intimate. Without a doubt, the show will be worth the drive and would be a great highlight to a weekend away.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

good eats

Yesterday, while on the way home from a mad dash to Atlanta to visit a good friend in the hospital, we had the opportunity to eat at one of my favorite restaurants, The Old Spaghetti Factory. They have less than fifty locations around the country, most being in California and only a couple in the Southeast. So, we try to take advantage of any opportunity that we're even remotely close to one of their restaurants. Thankfully, we were only a few minutes away last night. However, it was already after 8:00 when we arrived and we still had over a three hour trip ahead of us, but we stopped anyway.

Really, there's nothing spectacular about the place, but the food is tasty and economical too. We each had a beverage, cheese bread, salad, an entree, spumoni for dessert and also a pint of their pesto dressing to take home with us, all for only about 25 bucks. For the price, you can't beat the quality of the food and service. So far, we've visited Spaghetti Factories in Atlanta, St. Louis and Seattle. We still have a few more left to go.
posted by Christie

a different twist

I had a professor in college who considered any and all Scripture open to his own rather interesting and often strange analysis. He regularly presented some of the most bizarre ideas, not necessarily as absolute truth, just as a viable option for interpreting a certain text. Although I didn't always agree with him, I did always admire the passion with which he taught and the thought that he put into his work.

One Scripture that he described in a different light than I'd ever heard before was 2 Samuel 6:21-22. Of course, that's the story about King David bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and his wife Michal, despising him for dancing, rather scantily clad, before the Lord. My professor interpreted David's worship as sincere, yet understood his words, "I will become even more undignified than this..." to have a double meaning and serve as a foreshadowing of the sin he would one day commit with Bathsheba.

Although I don't necessarily accept his interpretation as my own, I've always considered his idea to be rather thought provoking. And, naturally, I've never been able to sing "Undignified" quite the same way again. He kind of ruined it for me.
posted by Christie

Friday, October 14, 2005

calvinism on my breath

Came across an interesting article over at imonk.com about a shifting, and declining, Southern Baptist Convention and how different segments within the Convention are driving many to "hit the bottle of reformed theology." The author speaks of a new front emerging on the horizon, that he refers to as the "Younger Leaders."

Here are a couple interesting blogs of note that cover similar topics:

Steve McCoy's Missional Baptist blog

SBC Outpost, covers thoughts and discussion about the future of the SBC

Words of Grace, written by Joe Thorne
posted by Christie

i'm easy to please

As a kid, I was rarely allowed to dress up for Halloween. It just kind of depended on what mood my mom was in and how high her thermometer of evil was registering at the time. Some years it read rather low and Halloween activities were permitted. Other times when it was in hyper mode, even the most benign costumes were considered, at least deviant and at worst, devilish. However, the few years I did get to dress up, I was never allowed to wear what, deep down, I really desired. Mom would spend hours laboring over a special costume of some obscure biblical character that was sure to draw acclaim from the tri-county area. And although I appreciated her effort and acted as happy as I could, all I really wanted was one of those ten dollar plastic costumes from Wal-Mart. It was always so exciting to peruse the racks of cheap Smurf and She-ra garb and imagine myself in one of those hot little masks that had the elastic string that went around the back of your head. Really, I didn't want Mom to go to all the trouble she did, I would have been happy with far less.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

franklin v. tanner

Rick loves to watch UFC. And although it's definitely not my favorite, and I would never watch it by myself - I'm learning to enjoy it because he does. However, the other day we saw a fight between Rich Franklin and Evan Tanner that was almost over the edge for me. Usually, fights in the UFC end with a submission or knockout - and although the fighters can get pretty beat up - there's not often lots of blood and I can handle the gore level. However, when Franklin finished pummeling Tanner for four rounds, the poor guy could hardly see from the swelling and blood pouring down his face. Of course, I hid my eyes behind a pillow, while Rick planted himself in the middle of the living room floor, cheering Franklin on in his conquest. And now tell me men aren't different than women.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

judgment day

Believe it or not, we've yet to file our taxes this year. While it's not unusual at all for us to get an extension, we usually don't drag the inevitable out quite this long. However, October 15 is fast arriving and the deed has gotta be done. Thankfully, we have a great accountant who graciously makes his way through our jumbled mess of receipts and bills and somehow seems to make sense of it all. Hopefully, we'll eek by and possibly receive a small return. But as long as we break even, I'll be happy.
posted by Christie

Monday, October 10, 2005

i'll keep looking

This morning I've been searching on the internet for an ironing board cover. Nothing fancy, just a simple cover, preferably Teflon coated. And unfortunately, all I seem to be able to find is this. Although it might remove some of the boredom associated with ironing, it's not exactly what I was looking for.
posted by Christie

Friday, October 07, 2005

weather reporting

I'm not quite sure that I understand the obsession that the elderly possess concerning the weather (note, not wether). Maybe it's because they grew up in a more agricultural centered society than exists today, but whatever the case, I always get a good laugh out of their constant meteorological concern. You let one drop of rain fall from the sky and bam! They're automatically on alert and in the process of calling all their friends to see if it's raining at their place. If you even walk near an older person, you can sense that they're waiting with baited breath to report the two inches of rain they received yesterday. Oh, and speaking of rain gauges. They're checked hourly, if not bi-hourly. I've actually considered getting one so I could have something interesting to talk about with them, but have so far resisted the urge.
posted by Christie

code blue

Okay, here's the Friday Fiver for you.

1. Have you ever been to the emergency room?
Several times. Twice during the last three years. And one of those times, I even had to drive myself (see question below).

2. What's the worst pain you've ever had?
Probably when I almost severed my little finger with the electric hedge-clippers. I actually didn't feel a thing, to begin with. Infact, I didn't even realize what I'd done until I looked down and saw that my hand, the clippers and the ground below were all covered in blood. Then, it started to hurt. A lot.

3. If you could choose your doctor, do you prefer someone of the same or opposite sex?
Depends on what it's for. I would almost always pick a male doctor, but my cardiologist (for my heart murmur) is female and she's great.

4. Do you take vitamins?
Not like I should.

5. Would you prefer to go to the doctor, the dentist or go sky diving?
I don't really like doctors, and sky diving would definitely equal a visit there (at least for me). So, I'll stick with the dentist.
posted by Christie

Thursday, October 06, 2005

word up

In hopes of reaching text messagers everywhere, a new Bible has been produced specifially for them.

Here are a few examples taken directly from the work:

In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth. Da earth waz barren, wit no 4m of life; it waz unda a roaring ocean cuvred wit dRkness. (Genesis, chapter 1, verses 1-2).

God luvd da ppl of dis wrld so much dat he gave his only Son, so dat evry1 who has faith in him will have eternal life & neva really die. (John, chapter 3, verse 16).

Next up, I hear there's an html translation coming out to relate to computer geeks everywhere. Or was it binary?
posted by Christie

make a wish

Just thought some of you might be interested to know that today marks the very first birthday of our blog. Almost 350 posts and 9000 hits have transpired during the last 12 months. Although we'd read some blogs here and there before we began ours, finding out about Drivetrain and Friesville was the final inspiration we needed to bite the bullet. So, thanks guys. And by the way, we are accepting gifts.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

make new friends, but keep the old

It's so easy to get out of touch with people. Before you know it, days, then weeks, months and years pass and you realize you haven't had any correspondence with people who have really meant a great deal in your life. Last night Rick and I thought of several people that we are going to take the time to get back in contact with sometime soon, maybe with a phone call or email, but hopefully with a visit.

Here's the first few on our list.

  • Some of the people we were closest to at our last church in Cuthbert, Georgia. Although we weren't there for a real lengthy period of time, we made friends in that community that we will never forget. Even though we speak with some of them every now and again, we would love to sit down together and catch up on life.

  • My former youth pastor and his wife, who now live in Columbiana, Alabama - outside of Birmingham. They made a huge impact on me during my high school days and I haven't seen them in almost five years. Still, I think of them often and would love the opportunity to find out how they're doing and for them to get to know Rick.

  • A couple in Panama City who became extremely influential in mine and Rick's dating relationship. They were great friends of ours and he performed our wedding ceremony. Even though we've been out of touch for a little while now, I'm absolutely certain that we would pick up right where we left off.

If all else fails, maybe we can convince some of these folks to start a blog.

posted by Christie

Monday, October 03, 2005

at least he's honest

Rick and I had the opportunity to spend some time one summer on the Shoshone-Bannock Indian Reservation in Fort Hall, Idaho. Not only was that our first experience with the west, it was our first experience with life on the "Rez," as the locals called it. We had fun learning about some of their traditions, culture and interesting quirks. We spent most of our days at a small church, helping with facility up-keep and Vacation Bible School.

Among many strange experiences that occurred while we where there, one that we re-visit often is the story about Harvey. Harvey was a buffalo rancher who lived in Pocatello, the closest decent sized town near Fort Hall, about 25 miles away. He went to the local, and only, Baptist church there and was recruited by his wife to help assist the church we were working at on the Reservation. Harvey was a big, strong, gruff man who could have probably wrestled one of those buffalo to the ground bare handed. The day we left, he and his wife drove us to the airport. On our journey to Salt Lake City, Harvey told us some about life on the ranch and lots about his Mormon friends. He made a statement that will go down as one of the saddest, and most hilarious in history. While trying to explain to a friend why he wouldn't read the Book of Mormon, he came up with the best excuse he could think of. He told his friend, and I quote, "I've got a da-- book written by Almighty God and I don't read it, why in the hell would I want to read yours." I laughed for miles, but finally had to quit because Harvey refused to stop and let me use the restroom, and I was nigh unto wetting myself.
posted by Christie
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