Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I've been reading through Genesis and have become convinced that it has to be the most fascinating book in Scripture. It's amazing how it covers such terribly ancient events, yet each of them deeply resonate with our present culture. One area that has grabbed me is the morality level, or should I say lack of morality level, of our father, Jacob. Basically, the baby birthing contest between his two wives, their desire to offer "help" through their maidservants, and Jacob's willingness to go right along with all the antics, sounds more like an episode of Jerry Springer than anything else. While a sad commentary on Jacob and his family, we find such assurance that even through continued sin, God remained faithful and displayed His great love, mercy and grace to Jacob by continuing the covenant He made with Abraham.

I guess there's hope for us all.
posted by Christie
You can now keep up with Relevant Magazine via thieir blog at myspace. The site doesn't contain much right now, but I'm sure more updates and articles are on the way. Maybe it'll be worth checking out.
posted by Christie

Monday, January 30, 2006

On January 17 Larry King hosted a discussion concerning homosexuality and specifically homosexual marriage. The impetus for the conversation was none other than Golden Globe award winning, Brokeback Mountain. King's panel included a wide spectrum of guests such as conservative Christian, Al Mohler - to openly gay activist, Chad Allen. You can read the transcript here and will likely be pleased by the excellent job Mohler did of presenting sound biblical insight into this ever growing debate.

Mohler seems to have spoken with truth and love, often an uncommon balance, and told Larry King, the panelists and viewing audience, "What I hope for is that persons, heterosexual and homosexual, will come to know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, would come to know new life in him, would come to understand that sinners can find the only help that is...worth finding and the only salvation and solution to our problems is by coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and then understanding that God, our creator, has the right to define every aspect of our lives including our sexuality."
posted by Christie

Friday, January 27, 2006

For the first time, in a very long time, my car is clean. I used to be a fanatic about keeping it spotless, infact Rickie always said I was the only girl he knew who detailed her car. However, as life progressed and time became of the essence, I opted to keep things clean, like my home, instead of my car. People always say you can look at a woman's vehicle and tell what kind of house she keeps - but that's not true with me at all. Really it all fell apart when I started school at Brewton-Parker. At the end of exams the first semester I popped open my trunk, dumped my books, and there they remained until just a few days ago. Same thing happened at the close of my second, third and fourth semesters. Oh and did I mention that the Chair of my department cleaned out his office and gave me about 50 books. Yep, they fell into the dreaded abyss as well. Thankfully, I graduated and that ended. But, that didn't bring a stop to many a moldy cup, half eaten sandwiches, grocery store bags, small animals, chocolate cakes, Doritos and old bananas. However, after its recent fumigation my car looks almost new and smells surprisingly pleasant considering some of its former contents. I hear if you deal with what's in your car each day, that the situation above won't repeat itself. Maybe I'll experiment.
posted by Christie
I didn't like this weeks Friday Fiver, last weeks was far more interesting. So, here it is.

1. What do you normally eat for breakfast?
A grapefruit and some source of protein, either a small piece of cheese or some peanut butter.

2. Are you more likely to drink coffee or tea?
I love flavored coffee and blended coffee drinks, but sweet tea is certainly the nectar of the gods. Of course, in Georgia it has to be made with two cups of sugar per gallon. A syrupy delight.

3. Would you consider yourself a good cook?
I guess I'm a better cook than some. Since Rick and I have been married, I've only had one meal I had to throw away and another that should have been thrown away because Rick couldn't eat it. I have to give him credit though, he did try.

4. What is your favorite meal?
Nothing too exotic, probably spaghetti or chicken and rice. But not together.

5. Green eggs and ham: would you eat it?
I'll eat most anything once.
posted by Christie

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Although not a New Year's resolution, around the first of January I decided that I desperately needed to drink more water. What a harrowing realization that was for me as this epiphany came while the sweet essence of Cherry Coke still lingered in my mouth. Like a soldier, I hunkered down and decided I would at least try to ingest more of the tasteless liquid than I currently was and cut back on the 12 ounce cans of carbonated heaven I so frequently indulged in. And now, almost four weeks have passed and I've had nothing to drink except, you guessed it, water. Really, I don't miss the sodas at all. Never even think about the deliciously fizzy beverages in which I'm being deprived of. And only occasionally do I shake uncontrollably, convulse and black out for hours at a time. I'm handling it so well.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Be sure and keep up with Mark Driscoll's blog, Resurgence. He has two recent posts that cover his meetings with both Chuck Colson and Ravi Zacharias.
posted by Christie
You can read Christianity Today's artcile entitled "An Unfiltered Webb" here. It's an interview with Derek Webb about his newly released album Mockingbird.

Concerning the new work, Webb says:
"Mockingbird addresses the question of, 'We are set free, but unto what?' If the thing that I've been talking about on these records, if the message is about being set free and liberated by Christ, if that's true, then the big question becomes, 'How do we live in light of that freedom?' What are the fruits of that freedom? There's a point at which the rubber of our theology must hit the road of ethics. There's a point at which, if we pride ourselves in knowing about God's character, our knowledge of that character must inform the way that we love and live with people."
posted by Christie

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I have just finished emailing each of the International Mission Board Trustees a letter and the following questions. Though I will not post any responses without permission from the author, I want you to know that I have already received some encouraging replies. I strongly encourage each of you to email these men and let them know your viewpoint. Without sharing our opinions, they will continue to go unheeded.

1. What was the impetus for the policy changes? Have there been significant problems in the field with regard to speaking in tongues and baptisms? If so, can you offer any examples?

2. In “POINTS TO BE COVERED DURING THE APPOINMENT PROCESS” number 2, sub point b states: “A candidate who has not been baptized in a Southern Baptist church or in a church which meets the standards listed above is expected to request baptism in his/her Southern Baptist church as a testimony of identification with the system of belief held by Southern Baptist churches.” How does this statement agree with Scripture, which states we are to be “baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus” after repenting of sin and receiving forgiveness – accepting the message of the gospel?

3. Why was “the doctrine of the security of the believer” chosen over other distinct Baptist doctrines (such as the deity of Christ, the virgin birth, the inerrancy of Scripture, etc) as a measuring rod for the candidate’s eligibility?

4. What deliberation occurred before seeking trustee Burleson’s removal from the board? Did this deliberation take place in plenary sessions, executive sessions or in private meetings with Mr. Burleson?

5. What other ways were explored as means “to handle the impasse”?

6. How is Mr. Burleson guilty of “broken trust” – did he share private information? Can you cite specific examples?

7. In what ways has Mr. Burleson displayed “resistance to accountability”?

8. To what accountability has Mr. Burleson been resistant – the board’s, the Convention’s, key leader’s, or all of the above?

9. Is a vote in opposition of the majority and speaking out against the majority viewed as “broken trust” and “resistance to accountability” – even when matters of personal conviction and conscience are at stake?

10. Why does the board feel Mr. Burleson’s removal “was absolutely necessary for the board to move forward in its duties as prescribed by the SBC”? In what ways will trustee Burleson hinder the board from fulfilling their duties to the Convention?
posted by Rick
A new day, a new template. Three columns this time. I'm still working out some kinks, but I really like it.
posted by Christie

Monday, January 23, 2006

I am quite proud of our church and the generous Lottie Moon Christmas Offering that they gave this year. While we may not have raised as much as many other churches, our contribution level did increase. In my four years at this church, we've always set the goal around $5,000 and have usually reached it, but this year, we were able to collect nearly $12,000 to send to the IMB in support of our foreign missionaries. I pray God would continue to burden our people so that the Kingdom of God will advance throughout the world.
posted by Rick
I've heard numerous opinions regarding "End of the Spear," the movie released this past weekend by Every Tribe Entertainment. For what it's worth I'll give you my take on the 111 minute flick that I watched at the Saturday matinee.

I don't pretend to know much about art or film. Infact, concerning both of those areas, I'm pretty clueless. However, I'm not so clueless that I failed to observe the fact that "End of the Spear" was not particularly good movie making. Much of the story was very one dimensional, the characters were not well developed, and on top of that, the Indians had bad wigs. Obvious inaccuracies scattered the film, supposedly to make the movie better, but I think instead that they worked against it. I don't think the movie even came close to doing justice to the real story, but I didn't go into it thinking it would, so I was prepared for the disappointment.

My biggest problem with the movie is that it seemed to overlook the passionate relationship with Christ that the missionaries possessed. Although there were a couple references - the film didn't present a faith that would cause someone to give up their life. I'm not asserting that the movie should have been made for the purpose of evangelizing or that it should have ended in an altar call, but just for the sake of accuracy and in fairness to the real events, the faith of the men and their families should have been more prominent.

However, despite a slew of negative things I could recount, I disagree with many who say that the movie contained no element of the Gospel. Although the name of Jesus was not spoken, and the plan of salvation was not given in Christianese - we were presented with a beautiful story of how God (the Waodini term was used) had a Son who was speared, and did not spear back, so that we might live well. While a very simple explanation, it was powerful to me because it showed the fact that the Gospel transcends culture and is relevant to even the most savage tribespeople in one of the remotest parts of the earth.

Overall, I wasn't particularly pleased with the movie, but I don't regret watching it. However, I would recommend the books that cover the events over the film any day of the week.
posted by Christie

Friday, January 20, 2006

Tomorrow morning we will head to the big town of Macon, GA to do some shopping and see the movie End of the Spear. I hope it will not disappoint us.

I've read The Savage My Kinsmen in which Elisabeth Elliot tells of her journey back into the tribe after her husband, Jim, was killed by the tribe. Now I'm working on Through Gates of Splendor - Elisabeth's book that leads up to the killing. The devotion to, passion for, and confidence of the mission God had called these individuals to astounds me. One of the most moving quotes I've heard to date about these men came from the documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor. A fellow Ecuadorian missionary made the comment that though the men had guns they had said they would never use them because "we are ready for heaven, the Aucas are not". What a beautiful statement of sacrifice - and these five men lived up to their word.
posted by Rick

Thursday, January 19, 2006

You can read Micah's letter to the editor of the Florida Baptist witness here.
posted by Christie
Further proving to myself - and everyone else - that I have become a well seasoned groupie, Rick and I will be traveling to Stone Mountain, GA tomorrow night to see Derek Webb in concert. He's going to be playing at Christ Community Church, along with his wife, Sandra McCracken. We saw his November show at Murray Hill Theater in Jacksonville, but that was before the release of his new album. So, it'll be nice this time to actually know the songs he's playing and have already begun to understand and digest their content. I predict an excellent evening. Good music, friends and food usually facilitate that quite well.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I decided to write a letter to the editor of our state paper, The Christian Index, in hopes of bringing the IMB situation to light. Below is a copy for any who desire to read it:

January 18, 2006

Dear Editor –

During recent meetings of the trustees of the International Mission Board, a vote was taken –and passed - to change policies regarding the qualification for missionary placement. This decision narrows the parameters for missionary eligibility by forbidding service opportunities to any who admit to the use of a “private prayer language” and requiring those not previously baptized in “a church that embraces the doctrine of the security of the believer” to be rebaptized, regardless of the church in which they currently belong. These conditions would effectively disqualify even the president of the IMB, Dr. Jerry Rankin, from missionary duty since he has openly confessed to the use of a private prayer language, and would further prove to strip away local church autonomy, a tenant that lies at the very heart of Southern Baptist life.

While many within the convention view these policies as unnecessary, extra-biblical, incongruent with the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and a dangerous step for our future, it seems that one man is being asked to pay the price for this dissension. During the January 9-11 IMB Trustee meetings, Trustee Chairman Thomas Hatley of Arkansas read into official record a statement which accused Wade Burleson, current IMB trustee and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Enid, OK, of both “gossip” and “slander” as a result of a weblog (blog) that he started as a platform from which to share his concerns related to these new policies. While the official statement released to the press and reported by the Baptist Press and the Associated Baptist Press, softened the charges to “broken trust” and “resistance to accountability” (charges which are weak at best and unfounded at worst), the desired outcome remains the same: the removal of Mr. Burleson from the IMB’s board of trustees - a decision that will ultimately be decided by the messengers of the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention.

As a young, conservative SBC minister interested in the future of our great Convention, I am both alarmed and disturbed by these actions and fear the new policies are far too restrictive in terms of Baptist doctrine and Scripture interpretation. My interest in this story and the effects these policies would have on our missionaries, local churches and Convention, led me to closely follow the unfolding events leading up to the actions of the most recent trustee meeting. I had hoped for a possible reversal of the policy changes, but instead was stunned to learn of the treatment Mr. Burleson received by fellow trustees. According to Mr. Burleson’s testimony, “there was no attempt at any private mediation prior to the actions at the board meeting to recommend me for removal from the IMB.” There was no effort at cooperating and no attempt at seeking a compromise, only a hasty calling for dismissal – based on very loose allegations – which were changed before the official press release.

While all of these things have distressed me, I realize there is something much larger at stake- larger than IMB policy, larger than Wade Burleson, and larger than my opinion and position. At stake remains the Word of God and my greatest concern is that we will once again replace the Word of God with the opinion of man – a battle our convention has already won. On one side remain those who refuse to recognize the authority of Scripture or to live within the confines of the prescribed boundaries. Yet on the other side, and equally as dangerous, are those who insist on tightening the boundaries, narrowing the parameters, and limiting believers until no room remains in which to live agreeably.

In closing, I would like to issue a few challenges. First, I would like to challenge Wade Burleson with the words of the Apostle Paul: “Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be a man of courage, be strong.” To Chairman Hatley and other IMB Trustees, if you are going to persist with this unprecedented attempt at removing a fellow trustee, I would challenge you to bring evidence and proof of this man’s guilt. Don’t simply level loose, unfounded allegations and expect the convention to join you in removing Wade – live up to the level of accountability in which you claim Wade failed. And finally, to my fellow Southern Baptists, I am not asking you to join my side, defend my position or come to my aid. I would only ask that you educate yourselves on these matters, research the new policy changes and the charges being brought against Wade Burleson and contact YOUR IMB trustees to share your opinions and concerns. Then, if possible, join us June 13-14 in Greensboro where you will have the chance to vote your conscience as Southern Baptists have been doing for generations.


Rick Garret
Hazlehurst, GA
posted by Rick
And so begins the effects of the latest policies passed by the Trustees of the International Mission Board. How narrow will the parameters become before people are satisfied?

Central Asia affected

Western Africa affected

And I am certain, there will be many, many more.
posted by Rick

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

During much of the IMB controversy, I've heard talk about Landmarkism. I thought I would just go ahead and confess, before everyone finds out themselves, that the father of the Landmark movement, James Madison Pendleton is my great, great, great, great something-or-other. In 1854 he authored a work entitled, "An Old Landmark Reset" which became an impetus for the campaign within the Southern Baptist Convention. Along with Pappy Pen were Amos Dayton and James Graves, who became known as "The Great Triumverate" of the Landmark movement. Pendleton didn't work alone, so it isn't entirely the fault of my ancestry. Go ahead, hurl your remarks. Just don't tell me that we favor and we'll all get along.
posted by Christie

Monday, January 16, 2006

After reading about Micah's recent experience in trying to obtain a list of trustee members for the International Mission Board, I decided I would take the chance and see what happened when I called. After speaking with an operator and asking for a list of trustee contact information, I was directed to another office and another secretary. There I asked if I could obtain the information somewhere on the internet and was informed that it was not posted online, but they would gladly furnish me a list of the trustee names and the states in which they lived. When I pressed for specific contact information, I was politely told: "I can give you contact information for our Trustee Chairman, Thomas Hatley. His phone number is (479) 636-5555." [A different number than the one Micah received - (479)636-1230] I thanked her for her help and then called the number provided. It rang several times, went into a series of random beeps and then a long beep - I'm unsure if it was an answering machine or a fax machine - but there was no pre-recorded greeting so I simply hung up.
posted by Rick

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Just in case any of you are interested, Mark Driscoll is now blogging. The site is meant to be a connecting point for those who desire to retain evangelical theology and combine it with an effective biblical missiology. There is only one post up right now, but we're promised that more are on the way, and that they will be good. I have no doubt. I think I'll add it to my links for easy access.
posted by Christie

Friday, January 13, 2006

Once again, the Friday Fiver.

1. Are you timely or always late?
I'm usually five minutes early.

2. Do you wear a watch?
Not on a regular basis, I don't really like anything tight around my wrists. It makes me uncomfortable. I don't even button the cuffs on long-sleeved shirts.

3. What is the most important event you have ever been late for?
I was very, very close to being late for my wedding. The lady who styled my hair and did my make-up took several hours longer than what we had originally planned. I was agitated to say the least.

4. What kind of system do you have for keeping track of your bills?
I have a great system, his name is Rick.

5. What is your favorite time of day?
The evening when Rick and I are home together.
posted by Christie

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The unfolding events of the IMB Trustee meetings have disturbed, if not infuriated me. I believe that many of us realized we would one day arrive at this place and yet now that we are here, I’m not certain what to make of it. How can a few instigate and inflict a policy change that limits the autonomy of the local church and binds her hands in endorsing suitable missionary candidates? How can a denomination which prides herself on the autonomy of the local church and the individual believer allow one of her organization’s trustee boards to act as inquisitor, effectively seeking to excommunicate a man of God for sharing his own personal convictions and beliefs – even if they differ with the majority? While I have many questions, I am afraid I too have many answers. I am quite confident that the problem rests not in the fact that Wade Burleson has shared his differing opinions, but in the fact that he has “stirred the troops” and struck a nerve among so many dissenting Southern Baptists. I believe those who led the charge against liberalism and the ensuing “conservative takeover” feel such a sense of ownership and fear a loss of power that the focus has, albeit inadvertently, shifted from kingdom work to power politics. It seems to no longer be about uplifting Christ but about maintaining control. While I do agree that at one time the pendulum had swung far too left, I believe it is now entering equally dangerous territory as it begins to swing far too right. Once again, we leave the green zone of biblical inerrancy and interpretation and are left at the whim of those who find it their sole responsibility to interpret and enforce the laws they find in Scripture, thus keeping the denomination pure and righteous. At the same time, they are willing to sacrifice all who disagree on the altar of liberalism, “gossip,” and “slander.”

As I have watched these events unfold, several things continue to stand out to me:
1) It seems influential SBC leaders seek to CONTROL LEADERSHIP by appointing only like minded individuals and by strongly influencing the decisions these leaders are asked to make – bending the truth and misrepresenting information if necessary.
2) It also seems SBC leaders have a strong desire to CONTROL THE DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION related to SBC matters. (It seems one of Wade’s biggest problems came from the fact that he had an audience - specifically an audience that disagreed with convention leaders. As he shared his personal views and opinions, the audience was moved to action – which then infuriated leaders, causing them to react against Wade - the only visible target for the dissension. It is now further evident in the information shared by Marty Duren regarding the handling of Wendy Norville, the IMB's head of communications and the latest procedures for all future press releases.)
3) Apparently SBC leaders also have a strong desire to CONTROL THE LAITY by simply lulling them into a state of blind trust and obedience, never challenging them to think for themselves, to educate them theologically, or wanting them to react against a popular decision. If they are kept busy doing church, we are then free to rule the convention.

Where do we go from here? I’m not certain. I was reared in an Independent Baptist church which prided herself on much legalism and self-righteousness and held to Landmark views . While I learned a great deal from this church and her leaders and retain the utmost respect for the men of God I was brought up under, I have no desire to go back to that place.

I serve a Southern Baptist Church because I believe Southern Baptists have so many things right. My heart’s desire is to continue with the convention, to support our missionaries and leaders and yet I realize that my first allegiance is to Christ alone. As we face these difficult days, I believe Paul’s words to the churches of Galatia are quite fitting for us today: “The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Gal 5:14-16

I pray God will show us the way and remain confident that in the midst of these tumultuous days, Christ is working about His plan for the ages, working “for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

I pray also, that one day soon, we can watch as Wade, along with Joseph, proclaims: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

And finally, I pray that without sacrificing truth and spiritual liberty, God would bring a spirit of unity and love among the SBC. After all, it is by our love that Christ promised the world would recognize us as His own.

To God be the Glory!
posted by Rick

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The IMB trustee meeting has come to a close and a press release, detailing its decision, is due out around 3:00 p.m. and should be posted on the Baptist Press website. Wade Burleson will also issue a statement following the release from the IMB, and you should be able to view that on BP as well. Early reports indicate that the meeting did not turn out as many of us had hoped and prayed that it would. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
posted by Christie
Last night, for the second time I watched "Beyond the Gates of Splendor." The piece is a documentary that chronicles five young couples, including Jim Elliott and Nate Saint, who gave up the comforts of the United States for lives in the jungle of Ecuador. I'm sure many of you know the story of the men attempting peaceful contact with the often violent and savage Waodani, and shortly following, their tragic deaths at the hands of those they so desperately desired to help. The men could have defended themselves, but they refused to kill a Waodani who they knew was not ready for Heaven, and instead gave up their own lives because of their unwavering belief that they were. In few places have I ever seen such beauty, sacrifice and love. That same love is what drew several of the missionary wives to remain in Ecuador, and what called Elisabeth Elliot, and Rachel Saint (Nate's sister), back to the very people who had brutally killed their loved ones. In her book, "The Savage my Kinsman", Elisabeth Elliot said, "The fact that Jesus Christ died for all makes me interested in the salvation of all, but the fact that Jim loved and died for the Aucas [Waodani] intensifies my love for them." It would have been so easy, expected and understandable for her response to be anger and hatred, yet it was anything but. A beautiful story of healing follows for the family of the victims, the Waodani, and many others who have been touched by the unbelievable display of death to self and complete abandon to God.
posted by Christie
You can read Mark Driscoll's most recent article found in the Faith and Values section of the Seattle Times, here.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

For those of you who have been following the recent changes to the IMB policies concerning tongues and baptism, please be aware that the IMB is meeting this week and it is vital that we remain in prayer for the trustees, our missionaries, and the direction of our convention. Both Wade Burleson, as a trustee, and Marty Duren, as an observer, are recording their personal experiences on their blogs. I believe you will find their observations both interesting and enlightening. May God guide these men as they seek His direction for our convention.
posted by Rick

Monday, January 09, 2006

If you haven't seen the Southern Baptist Convention's recent TV spots, you can watch them here. Although I haven't viewed all of them yet, so far, the productions seem to relate a message of care and concern that we, foremost as Christians, but also as Southern Baptist people, should be known for. However, on the flip side, I don't think that national marketing is necessarily the way we are called to demonstrate Christ's love. That happens as we encounter people on a day to day basis. I'm afraid that self-promotion isn't going to get us very far. But maybe the message is more for Southern Baptist's than anyone else. What do you think?
posted by Christie

Sunday, January 08, 2006

We have driven past this sign numerous times on our all too infrequent ventures to Savannah - however, we just noticed it on one of our more recent trips.

I'm not sure what "undenominational" means, but I find it hilarious. I've heard of nondenominational and interdenominational, but this offers a new word for our Christian jargon.
posted by Rick

Friday, January 06, 2006

One evening, at our previous church, our minister of music held an old fashioned "favorite hymn" night. At my beckoning, Rick raised his hand and requested my favorite hymn, "Come Thou Fount." After we finished singing, our pastor stood and gave a short dissertation about the fact that we often sing hymns without really understanding the meaning behind the words. He then began speaking about the phrase, "here I raise my Ebenezer," from the second verse of "Come Thou Fount." However, he decided that since Rick was the one who had requested the tune in the first place, he would let him explain its meaning to the crowd. Upon being asked, Rick looked up nervously and without even thinking blurted out, "It was actually Christie's favorite." Thankfully, I'd done my research, and after shooting Rick an evil glance, explained the meaning behind the phrase as it's given in 1 Samuel 7:12. Rick breathed a sign of relief and thanked me for rescuing him from his lack of knowledge concerning 1700s hymnody. I smiled and reassured him that it was no problem.
posted by Christie

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I don't really like to take medicine. Once, I went to the doctor for a fairly insignificant rash that was on my face - and he prescribed a topical lotion that warned of side affects including death. I decided I would take my chances with the red itchy patch and forego the above medication. Of course, I take antibiotics when needed - but unless a prescription is necessary or a sickness is overwhelming, I usually just tough it out.

This week, I once again found myself disregarding the doctors orders. I scheduled an appointment due to a fever, congestion, cough, etc. As expected, the doctor discovered that I had a sinus infection and a nasty case of bronchitis. However, he also noticed an ulcer in my mouth. Although I considered it to be pretty harmless, he decided he would be helpful and along with an antibiotic, give me a prescription for Valtrex. Yes, I said Valtrex. You've seen the commercials, you know what it's for. But the doctor said it works for my sort of ulcers as well. Okay, first of all, I'm not taking medicine for an ulcer that isn't particularly even bothering me, and secondly, as small as our town is, I'm not going to Wal-Mart to get that prescription filled. Although it might not be listed as a side affect on the actual medication, death could very easily be a possibility.
posted by Christie

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I've been hesitant to post about a certain situation, but really, I'm not sure why. The particular story has made local, state and even national news. You may have even heard or read about the incident yourself. Everyone else is talking about it, but I haven't. Until now.

It goes like this. Brandon was a teenage boy who was part of our youth ministry for quite some time. He was an - albeit troubled - but seemingly polite, funny and thoughtful kid. One of those that you couldn't help but love, even when he was irritating. Brandon moved away a few months back, and we had actually seen him once or twice since that time. However, the weeks passed following our last encounter with no news, until we received some of the worst I could have ever imagined. Brandon brutally murdered an elderly lady, stabbing her upwards of two dozen times. I was overcome with disbelief, shock and horror at the realization of what had transpired. I felt such grief for the family of the victim. She had children and grandchildren whose lives would be drastically altered, and who would face a terribly difficult holiday season. I can't even begin to describe the emotions that I felt for that family. Yet, even though part of me tried not to, I experienced the same sorrow for Brandon as well. As I looked at the pictures of him that the news stations posted on their web-sites, I had a hard time seeing a murderer. Yet, I was met face to face with mounting evidence to the contrary.

The situation reminds me of the fact that depravity is probably a term far more hopeful than our actual state. Certainly, we are all capable of committing painfully mind numbing atrocities, beyond our comprehension. Yet, I still confess - I never thought Brandon would.
posted by Christie

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

At the request of my mother, Christie so graciously offered this Southern version of the Christmas Story. I hope you enjoy:

Luke 2:8-14
(8) Round about the same place there wuz some shepherds keepin' an eye on their sheep
(9) and out of nowhere an angel of the Lord was standin' right there at 'em and the glory of the Lord shined down on 'em and they were scared as they could be.
(10) But directly the angel hollered: "you ought not be so dern scared cuz I'm bringin' some real good news to all y'all.
(11) For on this very day in this here city of David, a Savior has been born.
(12) There's your sign. Y'all will uncover fer yerself a youngin' wrapped up in rags layin' in the barn."
(13) Out of nowhere, a big ole' crowd showed up with the angel a hollerin'
(14) "Glory to God up yonder and here on earth, peace to all y'all"
posted by Rick