Unwritten Epilogues – A Time to Kill

22 05 2009

Title: A Time to Kill

Author: John Grisham

Publication Date: 1989

Publisher: Wynwood (original); Doubleday (hardcover); Dell (softcover)

Genre(s): Drama / Courtroom / Murder

Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, is one of his best. Slow to take off with publishers, it has now been made into a full length motion picture, which I consider one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

Set in the fictional town of Clanton, Mississippi, the story begins with the brutal  rape and attempted murder of a 10-year old African-American girl, Tonya Hailey. Her father – Carl Lee – determined not to allow the men to go free, shoots the accused as they are escorted from their courtroom appearance. Sophomoric (yet talented) lawyer Jake Brigance is hired by Hailey to take on the most important case in the country in years. The odds are stacked against the defendent and the young lawyer, and if extremist groups have their way neither will live to see the end of the trial.

A racially charged, whirlwind of a novel, A Time to Kill, is an absolute must-read. You will find yourself on the other side of the bar, sitting in the jury box and weighing the facts. A life is on the line…guilty or not guilty?

I recommend John Grisham’s A Time to Kill with a 8.9 out of 10 score.


The Best Words

12 04 2009



12 03 2009

This is a tweet from Christopher Walken dating from December 10th:
“A man ate from a trash can while tourists clicked snapshots. I gave the guy 15 dollars & told the tourists to get the H*** out of my city.”
I couldn’t help but post this. While it is obviously off-color to a certain degree, doesn’t he have a point? When did people lose every ounce of compassion for people and begin to see “the least of these” as a photo-op?
And is the church anything like those tourists? Are we just looking at the problems? Are we just identifying them or pointing them out? Are we just yelling “Look! A homeless guy!”? Or are we doing something about it?
“Get the H*** out of my city?” Maybe we should be giving our all to get our city out of Hell…and in the meantime maybe we can give somebody a little bit of hope in the God who cares.

Unleash ’09 – Thoughts and Highlights

12 03 2009

Breakout sessions

Main sessions


  • First of all, major kudos to the volunteer staff. They knocked it out of the park! It could not have happened without them, that is obvious.
  • Perry Noble tells it like it is…plain and simple.
  • It is possible that a better worship team does not exist. Lee McDerment and RoseAngela Rugiero are amazing!
  • The staff of NewSpring are for real! They all buy into the one directive of God’s church: leading people to Jesus Christ.


  • Meeting some old friends there (Heath Mulliken and Charlie Collins)
  • Perry said “[fill in the blank]” HILARIOUS!
  • Chic-Fil-A for lunch
  • Got to check out the FUSE building!
  • “Our God is Love” sung by Lee McD! Sooo good!!
  • “Savior King” is one of the best worship songs ever written and they rocked it out!
  • Perry brought it for the final session
  • Prayer time with senior pastors

Unleash ’09 – Breakout Sessions

12 03 2009

Thoughts and Highlights

Main sessions

Breakout Session 1: Communications & Web Strategy with Suzanne Smith and Josh Blankenship:

  • All communication needs to reflect who you are as a church and your vision.
  • Keep it simple and streamlined – don’t give so many options that it will confuse people.
  • Define the win first – decide NOW what you want your communication to do
  • Clear communication with staff & volunteers is key.
  • “How can I help you?”
  • Same team. Same mission. Same vision. One church.
  • Specialization of position does not make life easier.

Breakout Session 2: Student Ministries with Brad Cooper

Ask two questions (taken from Henry Ford):

(1) What’s business?

  • One directive. Many strategies.
  • The church is about people meeting Jesus!
  • Say no to some good things in order to say yes to a very few great things.
  • A good thing is the opposite of a great thing.
  • Are we proud of Jesus? Would anyone know it when they enter our services?
  • Youth ministers must join with the vision of the Senior Pastor.

(2) How’s business?

  • What is your succession plan? If you were gone tomorrow, who would take over? Are you putting people in position to become ministers?
  • Delegate. Involve. Empower.

Four levels of student involvment at FUSE:

  1. Consumer – the first-time visitor; checking things out; hooked by the fun maybe
  2. Relater – someone learns their name; pays attention to them; makes them feel welcome
  3. Disciple – a decision of faith is made
  4. Producer – makes disciples; moved into a position of minister (even as students, because no one reaches a teen better than another teen)

There is a culture of intrigue… CHANGE IT UP!

Lastly, healthy things grow.

Unleash ’09 – Main Sessions

12 03 2009

Thoughts and Highlights

Breakout sessions

AM Main Session: Perry talked about three questions the church must ask, based out of 2 Kings 7:3-11:

(1) Are we willing to embrace change? (vv.3-4)

Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’-the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”

Change or die! The church in Acts HAD to change!

(2) Are we willing to work (vv.5-7)

At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, not a man was there, for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

Something has to be done!

(3) Are we serious about reaching the world? (vv.8-11)

The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp and entered one of the tents. They ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.

Then they said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”

So they went and called out to the city gatekeepers and told them, “We went into the Aramean camp and not a man was there—not a sound of anyone—only tethered horses and donkeys, and the tents left just as they were.” The gatekeepers shouted the news, and it was reported within the palace.

These terms are overplayed: Contemporary, Blended, Missional, Emergent

We just need to hit the gas and go!

PM Main Session: Perry spoke about Moses and shared four questions leaders must ask God, based out of Exodus 33:12-18:

“…and they said it was gonna be easy…”

(1) Who is with me?

Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’

  • Buy into the people, so they buy into you.
  • Get behind your pastor!!

(2) Am I pleasing You?

If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

  • Do you please people for a paycheck? If so, you’re a prostitute. God calls prophets, not prostitutes.
  • Ministry is received not achieved.
  • Am I placing limits on me that God isn’t placing on me?

(3) Who will see You?

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

  • Do you want attendance or repentance?
  • If God’s not there…nothing!

(4) What’s next?

Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

  • No monuments to what happened 20 years ago!

The truth about you…

4 03 2009

[I do this only because I love ya, Cooreesootee!]

1. You just received too much change. What is the most that you would feel obligated to come clean about it..if at all?

It all goes back.

2. What is the last present you regifted?

Don’t remember ever regifting anything, but I’m sure I have :/

3. You’re puking your guts up from the flu and are delirious, who do you call to take care of you?

Jarred, for sure

4. It is 4am, you’re at Waffle Huddle House (or any 24 hour diner like establishment). What did you just order?

Crispy chicken club combo

5. You were just handed $2500 and must spend it going away for the weekend. Where are you going and are you going to ask anyone to come along?

A cabin in the mountains with Jarred [NO BRITTANY! jk], Cody [NO KINDEL! jk, I guess – die, Kindel!], Abram (and if girls MUST come, then Christi, Kelly, Amanda and Kath – who is so far away in St. Lucia right now!)

6. Who shared your first ever romantic kiss and do you know where that person is now?

Wow! That is some private stuff! But yes, I do know where she is…

I ain’t taggin’ nobody… 😛