Saturday, July 28, 2007

We made the switch...

The Tanners have decided to bump up their blog hosting...


This is where we will be updating if you are reading this and wondering why it has been a year since we posted. It is because we have moved. See ya in the VOX world.

Walt and Betsy Tanner

PS: to all the folks who have us linked (Kevin, Laura, Ian, Lindsay, Jenny and Gene) don't forge to change our link. Peace!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Gospel According to Starbucks

Below you find a well written write up on the book Betsy has just finished. Here you will find random thoughts from a dyslexic, horrible speller that just finished a book called "The Gospel According to Starbucks" by Leonard Sweet (I hear an 'Amen' from the older fellow in the back - Gene Jennings.)

It is funny to see people's faces when they ask me what book I am reading right now, and I tell them "The Gospel According to Starbucks." They look at me like I am going to say "Sike!" or "Are you serious?" No matter what you think of Starbucks or the title - this is a great book.

Sweet discusses the things the church can learn from Starbucks (one of the fastest growing companies and known names in the world - they do have Starbuck in Isreal!) One of the major points he talks about is that you don't go to Starbucks for the $3 coffee. You go for the experience. You go for the atmosphere Starbucks offers you. Raising the question what are the atmospheres in our churches? Do people enjoy the community that happens on Sundays? Are we doing our best to make people feel welcomed and not like they are walking into a holy huddle. Starbucks goes out of its way to make sure community happens. From the big soft chairs, to the arrangement of the chairs...almost like a living room!

Sweet brings up an excellent point that in today's home we don't build large front porches. Instead we spend money on large decks in our backyard. Why? Because we don't want to see our neighbors walking by. We want to shield ourselves from the world, and be all about us. He goes further to say that Starbucks has become our front porch in today's world. Again, a place we feel comfortable to have conversations. A place where discuss life. Where we see our neighbors. (tonight at Starbucks - Betsy and I saw people from TNC and we sat outside to have conversation)

Didn't know this, but the CEO at Starbucks is not the "Chief Executive Officer" but the "Chief Evangelist Officer." Apparently the hip thing to do in the Corporate world is to be an Evangelist. A word that the church is scared to use. Is now being picked up by the world. Funny! Basically they are preaching their "gospel." Whether it is Starbucks, Coke, Nike - they are out spreading the "good news" about their company. I find that very interesting.

That is just a few things from the book - but if you are interesting learning more about what the church can learn from Starbucks. This is a good read.

One more thing. Leonard says, "Coffee is the Baptist beer." And that "Starbucks in their pub." Great Quote.

Irresistable Revolution

I finally finished Shane Claiborne's "The Irresistable Revolution: living as an ordinary radical." Walt wants me to write some thoughts about it, but I am not sure my thoughts are totally collected. I may ramble some. Condensing the book into a nice little synopsis is almost impossible, but here are some of the things I got out of it.

Social Justice: as Christ followers we should hate poverty, oppression, killing, and injustice in general. We should work to eradicate the social injustices of our times. God does not want us to be indifferent to human suffering. Instead, we need to meet the needs of our community and our world. As Mother Teresa says, "In the poor we meet Jesus in his most distressing disguises." How can we let our "neighbor" go hungry when our plates are overflowing? How can we let children in our community live on the streets when we have empty bedrooms and money to spare? When we do for the least of these, we do for Christ himself.

Isolation: I wrote in an earlier blog that I live an insulated and somewhat isolated life from the raging chaos outside my windows. I am safe, clean, and well fed. My brothers and sisters live in chaos that I am quite oblivious to. Sure, I know that it exists, but I don't experience it. My comfort level is much too great.

Why?: An old comic strip had 2 guys talking to each other. One asked why God allows all of this poverty and war and suffering to exist in the world. And his friend says, "well, why don't you ask God?" The fellow shakes his head and says he is scared. When his friend asks why, he mutters, "I'm scared God will ask me the same question." When we ask God why he allows the injustices to exist in our world, he likely would answer: "You tell me why we allow this to happen. You are my body, my hands, my feet." (This comes from pages 64 and 65 in the book).

War: This is a hard topic that I am still struggling with. Maybe I will write about it later.

Creation: God has allowed us to enjoy his creation, but he has only given us one shot at it. His creation is his, not ours. We are here to enjoy, not to exploit. We need to be environmentally friendly to preserve this precious gift. This means recycling, reducing our dependence on oil, using flourescent bulbs,and much much more. As Rob Bell has recently preached on: "God is green."

Love: Everything written above must be driven by LOVE. Most importantly, love for God. Then, love for our neighbor, love for justice, love for righteousness, and love for creation. When we love we will be driven to bring justice and equality.

There is so so much more to this book and I wish that everyone would read it. As I process more, I will write more. I want to be held accountable for the knowledge God has given me.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dog Days

This is Betsy again, and I am on a mission. I REALLY want another puppy (or another kitty--particularly an orange one). Every time I ask Walt he answers with an emphatic NO. I try to use my best lawyering and logic but to no avail. So, my new tactic is to bring in backup. Walt says he doesn't want to be known as "those people" (those who have too many animals and not enough sense). He says 2 dogs and a cat in the house is just one too many. So, I need your help (whoever in the world actually reads this blog). If you see Walt you can encourage him that it is wonderful and logical to let his wife get another puppy or kitty. You can be subtle or forthright--whatever it takes. Thanks for you help on my mission!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Some thoughts from Betsy:

Lately I have thinking a lot about how, as a Christian, I am supposed to live. Christianity is not a set of beliefs, but a complete lifestyle. I suppose that my thoughts began on our trip to Israel and Turkey where we learned that the Kingdom of God is two pronged: defeating evil and bringing peace. Jesus called his followers to bring the Kingdom of God, so as a Christ-follower my life should be spent bringing His Kingdom. The question of course is, how do I do that?

As I was talking to Bobo about living as a Christ-follower, he suggested that I read (and then let me borrow) a book called Irresistible Revolution by Shane Claiborne. Wow! This guy and his community really live and love! Their whole mission in life is to love and be in community with the poor. They live for social justice, defeating poverty, and radically loving.

One prevalent thought has been: do I know any poor people? Am I interacting and sharing life with people in need? I live so insulated from the pain and hurts in the world around me. How can I defeat evil and bring peace when I never personally see evil and chaos.

My thoughts are scattered just like this post, but I am on a journey.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Long Lost Tanners

WOW it has been over a month since we posted on the Tanner Blog. We had these grand ideas of posting and just never have. The Summer has been very busy. We have been out and about A LOT! And July is no slower with our HS trip called "Road Rules" - we will be living on RVs for a week. And then we take our MS group down to the beach for several days! Pedal to the Medal BABY.

I am thinking about moving to VOX with Kevin. It has a lot more features and may keep my interest up in maintaining it. If we move - you will be the first to know (all 4 of you who read this!)

On a side note: GO SEE "Live Free or Die Hard". It is great. I rank it up there with the original Die Hard. I told Betsy I was in 5th grade when John McClain battled 20 terrorist in a high rise in Chicago! And now I am 28 and he is still Kicking some - well butt! It will probably be our last movie in the big theatre for about six months. $9.25 for a movie ticket. ARE YOU KIDDING ME. A tad bit ridiculous.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back from Israel and Turkey

Well Betsy and I made it back from our adventure in one piece. I don't even know where to start on how amazing this trip was for both of us. I have been telling everyone that it was like trying to drink water from a fire hydrant - you get some in your mouth, but most of it ends up all over you. Ray blew our minds with all the information he threw at us.

Most people think it was neat to go over and walk in the footsteps of Paul, John and Jesus and it was. The amazing part was listening to RVL take God's word to a whole other level when you learn the culture and how it related to the text.

We will post pictures and little faith lessons from our notes we took - and we took plenty. Here is our logo book:
Gone - 16 days
Countries - 2
Cities - over 15
Hiked - 120 miles
Hours - 200 hours (hiking, learning, getting to spots)
High Temp - 120 degrees
Low Temp - 50 degrees (cold wind and rain)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Student Ministry Quote

If you don't know who Shane Claiborne will soon. He is a Tony Campolo student who lives an extreme life in Philly. They live in an abandon building making their own clothes, and taking care of homeless folks. He is starting a movement in college students and twentysomethings that could change the entire way we look at life.

Here is a quote from Shane Claiborne’s book "Irresistible Revolution"

“In my youth group days, I had seen all too many would-be Jesus radicals fall by the wayside because they had never been trusted with the adventure of revolutionary living. When I was a youth leader, one of the high school kids who had ‘given his life to Jesus’ got busted only a few weeks later for having acid in school. I remember asking in disappointment, ‘What happened, bro? What went wrong?’ He just shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘I got bored.’ Bored? God forgive us for all those we have lost because we made the gospel boring [or tried to entertain instead of offering God, purely]. I am convinced that if we lose kids to the culture of drugs and materialism, of violence and war, it’s because we don’t dare them, not because we don’t entertain them. It’s because we make the gospel too easy, not because we make it too difficult. Kids want to do something heroic with their lives….”

The Countdown Begins

Friday Morning we set off for a once in a lifetime adventure. Betsy and I will be heading to Israel and Turkey for 16 days! We have lots to do...we will keep you updated throughout this week to see how we prepare.
Today lets take a look at our luggage. Can you figure out whose is whose. I have a feeling I will be be carrying three pieces of luggage - probably not the small one.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Watch out South Carolina

Betsy found out on Friday that she passed the South Carolina Bar Exam!!! No more huge exams for her! Besides some paperwork and being sworn in, Betsy will now be able to practice law in SC. Woo Hoo!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Random Pics

Betsy and roomates from Furman. Chilling at the Hayes home in Blackville.

Me and Bets at Healing Springs in Blackville, SC. Crazy story of Indians who found two Revolutionary soldiers who were dying and brought them to the springs and they were healed. The water is so clean the residents of Blackville come here to get water instead of the city water. Blackville is a very interesting place!

Jenny and John Kelly with some goofy dude on "Fly Beach!"

Betsy and Jenny hanging out on the Kelly's new boat! Sweet Ride. Shout out to Jenny who says she reads our blog! That leaves only 3 other people who are readers of the Tanner blog - not really.

Here is our driveway lined with azaleas a couple weeks ago. Pretty ain't they!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Catching up with the Tanners

Its been a while since we have posted. So we thought we would get everyone updated on how things are going with us.

* Betsy is still waiting to hear back on the SC Bar.
* Walt forgot to tell you that his half marathon had to be put on hold. He realized that it was the weekend RIGHT before we head to Turkey and Israel. Too much going on to drive to Nashville and almost kill oneself.
* We are getting really really close to our trip with Ray Vander Laan. Click here to check out his website: We are super excited about following the travels of Paul. We will be gone from May 5-May 20!
* It was a rough week with our new workout program: P90X. Not only are we waking up at 6:00am every morning and working out for 1 hour. We are also changing everything we EAT! We did before pics and everything. Maybe after first month we will post pics. Doubt it!
* We have figured out why poor people are overweight. It is WAY expensive to eat healthy. We are having to increase our food budge by a ton! A lot easier to pic up some KFC than roast asparagus and cook wild rice.
* Check out Laura Owings blog to see Walt be a guest on the Hot Seat.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"I Pity Da Fool..."

This past Sunday I preached at TrueNorth. The sermon title handed to me by the creative team was called "I pity da fool!" The reason was because it was April's Fool day - makes sense. So I took it from the point of Christ saying: "I pity da fool who..."

And before the picture of Buddy Christ is spread across CNN for sacreligious images - one of the points was to explain that using the word "fool" will not send you to hell...Matthew 5:22 says "Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,[c]' is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be in danger of the fire of hell."

So the picture was a point of the different images of Jesus we have Buddy Christ, Rock Star Jesus, Judgemental Jesus - who would send you to hell for saying "fool".
There was discussion of the graphic being too controversial - but I put that fire out on stage!

So here are some of my "I pity da fool who...." that I believe Jesus would say:

..believes diet is better than regular
…doesn’t take care of the widows and orphans
…thinks I was just some Jewish dude who wore Birkenstocks.
…doesn’t understand why I came from Heaven to Earth
…thinks the designated hitter is good for baseball
…doesn’t believe we drink sweet tea in heaven
…has never felt my love
…doubts my miracles
…really thinks the BCS system is better than a playoff in College Football.
… doesn’t know me.

The main point of the day was this fool statement: "I pity da fool who believes you must work to get into heaven." From there is all about Grace.

My prayer is always that God would be glorified even though I am the goober delivering the message. And I feel good that when I walked off the stage - His message was delivered and He was glorified by it...corny jokes and all!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Starfield Pics from TNC Live

Our friend Mike Adams did awesome job with his awesome camera snapping a few shots with at the Starfield concert. SWEET!

Monday, March 26, 2007

TNC Update

This past weekend at TrueNorth Church was awesome. We had our Dunk'd service Sunday morning (FYI: this is our baptism service). Instead of just sticking it in the beginging of the service so the pastor has time to change out of his wadders and get behind the pulpit by the second stanza of "Just as I am" - we made this very special event into that an unforgetable EVENT! We said EVERYONE into one service (huge change in set up of the gym). We did amazing videos spread out through the service with people's story on how God had changed their lives. And in the end over 30 people got Dunk'd in one day - yeah God!

That night we had one of the best concert bands around in the NAHS gym - Starfield. I had seen these guys before twice and loved both concerts! They do a great job of crowd interaction, taking you high, bringing you into reflective worship, and then ending on a huge engery bubble that bust when they walk off the stage. I told our TNC family they would ROCK the house....and I don't think anyone can call me a liar.

I also realized I never gave the now 4 people who read this blog an outcome of our 180 weekend (D-Now). We ended up with over 80 students taking part in the weekend. The deal for them was if they got 100 students there I would shave my head - well they got 80. So I went with a mohawk! Shout out to Dustin Willis for the great job on the hair and the weekend. I kept it for 1 week and got rid of it - to the students dismay.
The really God thing was that we had 13 students either accept Christ or pray to MAJOR changes in their lives. 5 of them were dunk'd this past Sunday. That is why we do what we do at Element Student Ministry - to keep making heaven bigger.

"Not to us oh Lord, not to us - but to your name be the glory
because of your love and faithfulness."

Psalm 115:1

Basketball News

The Final Four is now set. My bracket didn't do as well I has I hoped. I was pulling for Wisconsin to up set Florida and Kansas to win the Championship. But I do still have two teams in the Final Four....Georgetown and Ohio State.

One observation - most of the big boys shouldn't still be in this thing. Several of them were down to double digit leads to the lesser team. But because they can go deeper and longer they come out with the W. In the end they pull it out.

Would of been nice for one Cinderella to show up to the dance, maybe next year.

And in case anyone had missed the OTHER Tournament - Clemson has made it to the Semifinals of the NIT. Haven't been there since 1999. New York City here come. We have the chance to keep the title in South Carolina. USC has won the last two years. Go TIGERS!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March Maddness

* The first round of games lacked a Cinderilla and excitement. Other than Duke losing - which wasn't that big of a surprise - nothing GREAT happened.
OH I forgot the Wisconin game...that was pretty intense.

* Betsy missed 6 games in the first round. Walt missed 6 games.

* The round of 32 got much more exciting.
- Ohio State almost loses...great OT (picked Ohio State)
- Vanderbilt takes it to Washington State in 2OTs (picked WSU)
- Pittsburg goes into OT with VCU (picked Pitt)
- And the night is still young

* Currently I am in 5 place in the TNC office pool.
- Gene (UNC)
- Jess (Ohio State)
- Kevin (Ohio State)
- Steve (Kansas)
BUT my picks look good going into the Sweet Sixteen!

* My Final Four look like: Flordia/Kansas and Georgetown/Ohio State. With Kansas beating Ohio State in the final.

* Betsy's Final Four: Flordia/Virgina Tech and UNC/Virgina. With UNC beating VA Tech. I am not sure her reasoning on those picks!

Unleashed Conference

This past Thursday we heading to NewSpring to check out their Unleashed Conference. Kevin and Laura, who has the been blog in the bloging sphere, have already posted on this event - but I too will add my two cents.

* NewSpring has an army of volunteers who were there to serve. Great job guys. Some even took a day off at work to come and serve other people. Above and beyond the call of duty.

* It is funny to listen to Perry Noble with someone who has never heard him speak. They look at me and go "Did he really just say that?" Perry is what we call a no hold bars preacher. It can be offensive to some - funny to others. I will give him props, the dude brings the Word. And people come to KNOW JESUS!

* Cool seeing and catching up with people from Clemson and NewSpring. I am telling you that Clemson puts more people into ministry than many seminaries.

* Student breakout session was good - not so much new information. Just enforcing the main idea I took (and Laura) away from the conference - ENPOWER. They have several assistance and paid staff in their student ministry....but they were all at once ENPOWERED volunteers. So now it is my job to pray, seek, and enpower those around Element to continue to grow the kingdom of God.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Quick Update

Blogging hasn't been high on the priority list around the Tanner House - we have been busy bees.
* Betsy took the SC Bar Exam last week - Praise The Lord (3 day exam)
* We moved this past weekend. Everything has been moved, but not unpacked.
* This past weekend was also Betsy's 26th birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I bought her a house.
* This coming weekend is our big 180 Weekend (AKA:D-Now) with Element. Busy Busy week and weekend for Walter.
*Needless to say we haven't been around much or able to enjoy our new home. We look forward to chillin' next week with a clear schedule.

That's your quick update for the 2 people who read this blog! Go Tigers.

PS: USC's Garcia was arrested AGAIN for keying a professor's car. He will not be taking part in spring practice.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

This is our Middle School Crew we took skiing last weekend. It snowed all day! The slopes were packed, but BEAUTIFUL skiing!

Monday, February 19, 2007

And Walt was right...

A month ago I posted about USC's highly recruited class. I mentioned that USC always seems to get great athelets, but they just "don't act right." I also said they will do alright if they can keep them out of jail. Well looks like Spurrier didn't listen and let his highly recruit quarterback get arrested Saturday Night down at Five Points. The ol' ball coach knows how to pick em'!

Word on the street was that 19 year old Steven Garcia got wasted, then got into a fight behind a bar, and then bowed up at police officer. Steven was one of the most sought out QBs in the nation. Apparently not the sharpest tool in the tool shed! Maybe we will get a showdown this year between the freshmen Garia(USC)and Korn (CU).

PS: If he ends up killing us over the next four years. I am sure I will hear about it from the USC dogs! I will just claim he needs to be in JAIL!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Chicks Gone WILD!!

This is Betsy again. I am in a blogging mode tonight (probably proscrastinating from studying). This weekend was our chicks' retreat, "Chicks Gone Wild." I would love to write all about it, but I have been told that "what happens at a chicks retreat stays at the chicks retreat." I will say that our speaker, Lisa Harper, was excellent. I was reminded that God takes great pleasure in seeing his children do what they are passionate about. It does not matter how much recognition or success we get on this earth, God smiles when his chicks (and the guys too) live for him. Jill and Andy Phillips led worship through music, which was beautiful. We laughed, cried, created, and thoroughly enjoyed real community! There are some really wild chicks at TrueNorth Church, and I love it!!!

Super Size Me

Walt and I just watched "Super Size Me" (this is Betsy by the way). That is the documentary where a guy named Morgan went on a McDonald's diet for 30 days. All he ate for 30 days straight was Micky D's. He ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner at McDonald's and if they ever asked him if he wanted to supersize it, he had to say yes. He gained 25 pounds, his cholesterol went from approx 165 to 240, and his liver turned to fat. His doctors were telling him he was extremely sick, but he finishd his "experiment."

What was the point? Fastfood damages your body. A couple of teenage girls sued McDonald's because they were obese and the judge threw out the lawsuit because they could not prove that eating fast food was the cause of their injuries. Well, fast food does cause extreme injury (in case you didn't know that).

A great documentary--everyone should watch it. I am not eating McDonald's again for a LONG time and I think I will stay clear of all fast food for a while (except for Chick-fil-A, which I love). I guess I will think more about what I put in my body.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Random Thoughts

* I got out of Jury Duty because they settled all the cases. And I was getting pumped about putting someone in Jail.
* We went skiing a couple weeks ago with the High School kids. I chose to ski for the first time in a couple years, instead of snowboarding. Watching some of these other people snowboards made me realize I am NOT that bad of a snowboarder.
* Getting a Loan has more hoops than a hoola hoop factory!
* The Jack Bauer power hour is putting me to sleep. For heaven sakes Jack save the cheerleader, save the world - WAIT wrong show.
* If you aren't watching Studio 60 (NBC Monday - 10pm) you are missing the most creative, best writing on TV. "I have the animal kingdom axis of evil under my stage - a viper, a ferret, and a coyote."
* Oh dear heavens, I messed up my neck this week working out. Don't over estimate the importance of your spine. It's valuable.
* Finally made it to August in my reading through the bible.
* We just finished our flag football season. My team went 1-3-1 for the year. It was a blast. I am sure the Ben Gay stock shot up around the Augusta area.

College Football Signing Day

Signing Day has come and gone. The Tigers didn't do as well as we did last year. But I think we got a good class of guys. We had the 22nd best signing day. Everyone above of us is a good football school and there aren't that many surprises, except two. One is UNC and their new coach Butch Davis bringing in the 15th ranked class. Not too bad for a Bball school. The second was Illinois (21st). Ron Zook is not a great coach, but he is a great recruiter! We are soon to forget that it is his recruits who just won the national title - that will make Steve smile!

NOW it is hard to swallow that USC had the 7th best in the country. Spurrier is too a great recruiter, but so was Lou Holtz. USC can bring them in, but often they "don't act right." Many of their great players get in trouble, have acamedic issues, or steal pictures of them selves and get caught. I will give credit to Tommy and the Clemson staff. They at least get guys who can act right. They aren't the smartest sometimes, but we do have one of the highest graduation rates in the country.

I am also pumped about new running back/special teams coach Andre' Powell. He comes from UNC and has coach the likes of Tiki Barber and Willie Parker. This will be great for the Duo in the Clemson backfield - Davis and Spiller.

Go Tigers!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

Finally Payton has gotten the monkey off his back. The strange thing is that I believe (could be wrong) didn't Steve Young remove his monkey from his back down in Miami? I have rooted for the Colts since my Clemson days of watching NFL with da boys. Many years I have heard the Colts will choke. They can't finish and come up short on the big games. NOT THIS YEAR BABY.

Another thing. I don't know of a classier team. Dungy. Payton. Harrison. These guys are the model atheletes. I would take these guys on my team anyday.

Sorry to Da Bears fans and nation. This includes my brother, Justin, who lives in Chicago and is a huge fan. Sexy Rexy (PTI reference) couldn't pull it off.

NOW OFF to Jury Duty in the morning.

Friday, February 02, 2007


Take a look at the house Betsy and I have signed a contract on. Closing on Feb. 22:

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Two minutes ago Payton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts broke the back of the dynasty of the New England Patriots. Payton, who many said couldn't finish a big game, drove his offense down the throats of the Patriots' D. And the wonderboy Tom Brady who had ice flowing through his veins CHOKED and threw the INT.

I told Betsy at the beginning of the 4th quarter that whoever made the one mistake would lose, and Brady did with 23 seconds left. With that INT the Colts put the nail in the coffin and made history with coming back from the largest deficit (18 points) in play-off history.

What a game!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Jack is Back

The first four hours of 24 are over, and I am left floored. Jack has been in a Chinese torture camp for a year and a half. He comes back to the USA and terrorists are now running things! But here comes Jack to save us.

In four hours: Jack has taken a "bite" out of crime - killing a man with just his teeth; he saved the life of one of the most influential terriosts in the world; killed his partner in crime, Curtis, and saw a nuclear bomb go off in LA! I wonder if Jack Bauer ever says, "Man it is going to be another one of THOSE DAYS!"

Six Miles

It is offical. I have cracked the 5 mile mark in my Half Marthon Training. Sunday was my first long run for the training. The quest...six miles. The longest prior to this was five miles about five years ago. Thinking I would probably die, I left my will with Betsy and Bowden and set out on the adventure.

I am here to let you know I survived. I must be in better shape than I thought. I finished and felt great. Of course I sandbagged a bit, averaging a little under a ten minute mile.

Orginally I was all set for the Georgia Half Marathon on March 25th. But TrueNorth is having a big day that day, so I am going to have to head to Nashville in April. Which is cool with me. A couple more weeks to get ready!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Shot Spotter

CRAZY! Didn't even know this techonology had been invented. Boston has just add the Shot Spotter technology to their "gun filled areas." Click here to learn more. Shot Spotter is a system that tells police when a shot has been fired 3 seconds after the triggered is pulled. They can tell within 10 feet where a gun has been fired.

Unlike "Minority Report" where the police are there BEFORE the crime occurs, this allows police to be their within minutes of a crime.

Apparently Charleston has this system as well. Crimals be WARNED!

Boxer Night

The fun part of being a youth minister is just making up things to see who will actually do it. One of those ideas was Boxer Night. This past Wednesday at Element we kicked of 2007 with a fun night of come in your favorite boxers. We had great number of students who wore their boxers on the outside of their clothes. It was great. Since our theme was boxers, I had to invent some games centered around boxers. My favorite and i think most creative was a game called "Smell my Boxers." The volunteers where blind folded and then I held up boxers that "smelled" and they had to figure what was in there....mustard, peanut butter, and maple syrup. Fun Times were had by all.

Betsy Being Swore In...

Here is Mrs. Betsy Buchanan Tanner being sworn in by Judge Dickert and Judge Annis making her an offical lawyer in the state of Georgia. This has taken 12 years of school. 4 years of undergrad at Furman. 3 year of masters at Georgia. Passing the Georgia Bar. AND NOW she is going for the South Carolina Bar and next....THE WORLD!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Last year in January 2006 one of my resolutions was to read through the ENTIRE bible. I have started this many many times, but have NEVER actually finished. Some people say I am ADD but what do they know...they don't know me. There was this one time I was in a store....wait...back to the Bible. (that might have confused some people-others laughed)

It is now 2007, and I have not finished the bible. But I have not given up. Currently I am in the month of JULY! Yes a little behind. Hey when you don't do it for a couple days, it adds up fast.

Now the meaning of the title: CONTEXT
The Old Testament is a struggle sometimes. Most of us who read the Word focus on the New Testament. Seriously, when you read the genealogy from Adam's house cat it can suck the life right out of you. I have just finished Deuteronomy. WOW. I guess I never realized how much the New Testament referenced back to the book of the Law. This was what the Religious were fighting for and Jesus was trying to break. Rob Bell talks a lot about this - knowing the context of the Bible. We read something Jesus says and try to fit it into our lives. Instead of reading it, looking at the audience He is speaking to, and then learning how POWERFUL His words were.

For Example: Deut. 22:13-20 talks about Laws of Sexual Morality. Verse 20 talks that if a woman is found not to be a virgin then she is to be dragged into the streets and stoned. Orders from God. It is in the Law He gave Moses. Taught for thousands of years. Everyone knew these rules. No if ands or butts. Jewish society was built on laws like this. Do something wrong - punished.

In John 8 Jesus comes into a situation where an unmarried woman is found in a sexual act and dragged (thanks Professor Gene) into the streets. This was not to say - we forgive you, but to kill her! Why? Because that was the law. Jesus steps in and says, "Yeah without sin, cast the first stone." (little KJV for you). The Law has past - a new sheriff is in town!

CONTEXT made this lesson of grace so much more powerful. Actually reading Moses Law and then remembering how Paul says the Law was the Tutor - the teacher (Christ) is now here - no need for the tutor!

"Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor." eph. 3:24-25