Monday, December 31, 2007

One Year Bible Challenge

On Sunday Morning, we challenged our entire congregation to read the Bible through in one year. I want to challenge all the readers of my blog to do the same.

Here are some great resources...
1. You can visit everyday and click the link on the right side of my blog to go to that day's reading.
2. You could purchase a one year Bible from your local Christian bookstore.
4. - this is a daily podcast that takes you through the one year Bible.
5. We will be printing the weekly reading in our Sunday Bulletin.

I dare you to read the Bible in 2008. It will change your life.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Peyton Update

The doctor just came in the waiting room to let us know that Peyton had made it through surgery just fine. He said everything went well.

Please continue to pray for his recovery.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Pray For Peyton

For the regular readers of my blog, you have read about Peyton. He is the baby in our church that the doctors were not expecting to be born alive. He is now two and a half months old. Jessica, Peyton's mom, called tonight to let us know that they had to take him back to Children's hospital in Little Rock.

He was not breathing very well on his on. Peyton was born with two of the arteries that go into your heart. This is causing his health problems.

They will be operating on Peyton tomorrow morning. Please say a prayer for Peyton. I will post on my blog an update as soon as I know something.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

House Update

We are really close to be able to move into our new house. I just finished cutting the last trim pieces. A friend went home to get a different saw to finish the last piece of laminate. We still need to finish painting another coat in the laundry room. Hopefully, we can start moving stuff in tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

We want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope you enjoy the day with your family and friends. Remember why Jesus was born.......He came to pay the price for our sin. Remember to give him thanks today.

God Bless and Merry Christmas, Rusty, Sasha, Mady and Mackenzie

Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm Back......

To the faithful readers of my blog, I apologize for not updating last week. :) We moved to Atlanta six months ago and have been living in a great duplex with one problem. It was too small for our family of 4. We have been looking for a house for the last six months and finally found one. We closed on it last Tuesday and have put major hours into flipping the house. My Mom and her husband, Bill, came to help us in this endeavor and there is no way that we could have done it without them. :) Thanks Mom and Bill! We took up the hardwood laminate flooring in the girl's rooms and had carpet installed. We reinstalled the laminate in the hallway and the office. We cut a door from the office into the laundry room. We painted the living room and the girls rooms. Plus, we painted the closets, trim, etc. It looks like a completely different place.

We should be moving in soon. I haven't been able to update my blog at home because the DSL service is already turned on at the new house, but we haven't moved the computer yet.

I'm going to try and update it more this week. :) Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, December 17, 2007

They are dying to get into church....

I was in my office today at the church. I heard a loud thud. It sounded like someone slammed a door in the building or there was a major accident at the intersection near our church. I got up from my desk and went to see what happened. I walked to the front of the building.....there was no accident. I looked around and there was no unexpected visitors in the place. So, I went back to my office.

Approximately 15 minutes later, I had to leave the church on an errand. As I approached the double glass doors leading to the outside. (For those of you who are outside the ATL and read my blog, our church is located in an old Safeway building. The entire front of the building is made up of huge windows.) I went to unlock the door to leave. I noticed something on the ground in front of the double glass doors. It was a HUGE pigeon laying there. I examined the glass and literally 10 feet up and about 10 feet to the left of the doors were some bird feathers that were stuck to the window.

Apparantly, the loud thud that I heard was a HUGE pigeon that flew into the glass windows in front of the church. Unfortunately for him, he did not make it. What a way to go. If he was going to go, at least he was going heading into church. :)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Answer To Prayer

Over the last several years, I have had a burden for the small community that I grew up in, China Spring. China Spring is a suburb of Waco, Texas. China Spring High School is a 3A school. It is a growing community.

My family moved to China Spring in the Spring of 1984. There were several churches in the area.....good churches, but not one Assembly of God Church. So, we had to make the drive to Waco. We ended up finding an A/G church on the other side of Waco. So, we would drive 25-30 minutes to go to Victorious Life Church.

So, for the last several years, I have prayed on occasion that God would send someone to start an Assembly of God church in the China Spring area. I had even prayed to see if that was what I was supposed to do with my life. I really felt that my role was to pray that God would send laborers.

My Dad serves as the business administrator for Victorious Life Church in Waco. VLC is the church I grew up in. A few weeks back, Dad told me that VLC was starting a church in China Spring. They are even using the High School Cafeteria as the meeting place for this new church.

They launched their website this week.

I am so excited to see a church in this area. It really is an answer to prayer. Matt Johnson, the Youth Pastor at VLC, will serve as the Lead Pastor at VLC in China Spring. Please pray for Pastor Matt and this new work.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Thoughts

1. We had a great time with the church's advisory board and their wives last night. We gathered together to have our Board Christmas Dinner. Sasha and I enjoy being with these men and their wives.

2. I believe firmly in the direction of Cornerstone. God is stirring our hearts to draw near to Him. I am so excited to see what God is going to do in 2008.

3. The Ladies Tea is this Saturday. Sasha has been working on this event and you will not want to miss it. It is Saturday at 1:00 p.m.

4. Sunday, we are continuing our series "Unwrapped." We are going to be dealing with the issue of conflict in the family.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

China Spring and the Heisman

1. When my family moved to Waco in 1984, we moved to a suburb called China Spring. My sister and I both graduated from China Spring High School. Today, the Cougars faced the La Vega Pirates. La Vega handed China Spring their only loss of the season when they met in District Play. Today was the Regional Finals at Floyd Casey Stadium (Baylor's Stadium) in Waco. My sister called this afternoon and gave me the great news that China Spring had won 31-28. Now, they will face Cuero in the State 3A Semi-finals. Congratulations Cougars!!!

2. I have to admit that I was pulling for Darren McFadden to win the Heisman. I was really hoping that the Cowboys could draft him with one of their two first round picks in next April's draft, but with Cleveland doing so well that is not going to happen. However, after watching the video montages of Tim Tebow, I began to hope that he would win. Tim Tebow won the Heisman trophy. He was a homeschooler who under Florida laws was allowed to play on the local High School team. He was recruited to Florida. Tebow is the first Sophomore ever to win the Heisman trophy. He mentioned that his priorities in life are his "faith, family, academics and football" fourth. Tebow demonstrated that by thanking "Jesus Christ" to open up his acceptance speech. He thanked God two more times throughout his speech. Congratulations Tim Tebow! You picked up a fan in me tonight!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Giving Honor - Scott Wilson

In the original Giving Honor Blog, I honored my High School Youth Pastor Brent Williams. Today, I want to honor Scott Wilson. Scott is co-Senior Pastor of the Oaks Fellowship in Red Oak, Texas. Scott was the Rec. Director at camp the summer before I went to Southwestern. It was there that I met several of his interns. One of them, Jason Alexander, invited me to come to what was then called Oak Cliff Assembly of God. A guy on my hall, Ron Rhoads, also invited me to go to Oak Cliff. It was there that I met Scott. I was blown away the first time I attended SOL'R (Sharing Our Lord's Radiance) Youth Ministries. It wasn't long after that I found myself in Scott's Sky Blue SUV driving down I-20 with Brian Dollar. He invited us to be a part of their intern program. I accepted and worked for Scott throughout the 4 years that I was at SAGU.

This was a defining moment in my life. I learned so much from my mentor and friend.

Five Key Lessons I learned while interning at Oak Cliff.

1. It is important to continue growing and being a life long learner.

2. Everyone has something that you can learn from them. I witnessed Scott on more than one occasion learning from someone who had a smaller ministry than what he did.

3. Dream a Big Dream! Scott is a dreamer and he taught me the importance of dreaming big.

4. The attitude of Gratitude.

5. The importance of being loyal to those who you follow.

Thank you, Scott, for believing in me, for not giving up on me, for allowing me to make mistakes, for being my mentor, for investing in me and for giving me the practical training that has allowed me to do what I'm doing today. I love you and Jenni!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

You are the reason for the season

Does the title of this blog sound selfish to you? In the materialistic society that we live in, we are bombarded with advertisments for what should be under our trees. Tickle Me Elmo, 42 Inch HDTVs, X-Box 360, Diamond Jewelery, etc. Advertisers try and convince us that this season is really about what we need....I mean want.

The truth is the season is all about us. It is not for the reasons that we may think. Christmas is a time for celebrating the birth of Jesus. We often say that He is the reason for the season. When we look at why he came to this earth, we see that he came for us.

Luke 2:8-12 (NLT) "8 That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said. "I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! 11 The Savior — yes, the Messiah, the Lord — has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!"

Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He came for you. You are the reason that he was born. You are the reason that he came to live on this earth. You are the reason he died and rose again.

This holiday season, remember that in God's eyes, You are the reason for the season.

Monday, December 3, 2007

From the recesses of my mind.....

1. We had a great day yesterday at Cornerstone. Last night service was great. Jimmy White, Pastor of Northside Church, came and spoke on the glory of God. It was a fantastic message and we had a great time in the altars.

2. College Football needs a playoff system. I have said this before but maybe someone from the NCAA will find this blog and read it. :) Take the top 16 teams according to the automatic bids. Then, you would need 14 bowls plus the championship game to get on board. You could still rotate the championship game between the various bowl sites or you could get brand new venues on board (example Jerry's World...aka Cowboys new stadium). Currently, there are 31 bowls, plus the championship game. So, there could still be 17 bowl games of non-playoff teams. With this system, you would have 14 less teams in bowl games. It would make the bowl games more exciting and bring in more money (which is what the bowls are all about). You would still get the top 50 teams in college football in bowl games. It makes sense. You would still have disagreements over who should get in to the playoffs...much like March Madness and the "bubble" teams. However, I would rather argue the merits of BYU (the current #17 team in the BCS) deserving to be in the playoffs over Tennessee (the #16 team in the BCS) than have a faulty system without a true champion. The playoffs could start the third weekend of December (after finals) and still end Monday, January 7th.