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Monthly Archives: April 2022

Book Review “Kill the Noise” by Ryan Ries

Book Review “Kill the Noise” by Ryan Ries

So there I was, a few months ago, stopping by CCF, and I don’t remember why, but I was there near lunchtime, and saw my new friend Jairus Hodges, and somehow, a few minutes later, I was in his car with Ryan Ries and his buddy Daniel on our way to lunch. Ryan was in town to speak at CCF, do some stuff with Zeal, and I think they were doing an event in St. Pete as well. After lunch, Ryan gave me a copy of his book.

I had met Ryan a few months before at the Pastor’s Conference in Diamond Bar, California. He was friends with Chris Waldrop and we were introduced. I was pretty sure that he wouldn’t remember me, only because of the sheer scale of people that he meets on a regular basis.

I knew him because many years ago, I was at a Pastor’s Conference in Murrieta Hot Springs and Raul Ries, Ryan’s dad, introduced him. Ryan shared how he had been a prodigal for many years, and how the Lord got a hold of him after an overdose in a hotel room in Panama on a skate tour. It was a powerful story, and Ryan was introducing the new ministry he was a part of called “The Whosoevers.”

The original idea for “The Whosoevers” came from Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D. It was born through a conversation in Las Vegas over dinner. Sonny invited his friend Brian “Head” Welch of Korn, and Ryan invited Lacey Sturm of Flyleaf and the four of them partnered together and have been sharing the gospel with a part of our culture that not many people have been effective in.

The book is Ryan’s story. What’s refreshing about it, is that it’s not heavy. It doesn’t mince the realities of a life with sin, but, there’s huge sections where Ryan is explaining from the New Living Translation of the Bible what was happening in his life both before Christ and then his journey as a Christian.

It’s very Southern California, and beyond that, lots of skateboard culture and Latin culture. I found the way he relates the Scriptural truths to not only be accurate and engaging but like I said earlier, “refreshing.” It’s a fresh voice, some new words, some fresh expressions, and the trustworthy truths are hopefully heard by a new group of people.

My teenage son read it and enjoyed it too. We would recommend it.

Ryan’s not the only long time prodigal that we have seen come to Christ through praying parents. And, not just come to Christ, but blaze a new trail into areas of our culture that desperately need to hear the good news of Jesus. If you’re a parent of a prodigal, you’ll be encouraged reading this book.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2022 in Book Review

 

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Family Update – Spring 2022

We are due for an update. Actually, when I go for coffee with people, or when I have phone conversations with all of you, this is the topic that comes up the most, and usually first. What are you guys up to? Where is the Lord leading you, etc…

When we went for family debriefing one of the counselors shared how going through a transition like this was like crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. When you start it’s rare that you can see the end of the bridge because there’s usually fog in the middle. We are in that fog. There will be an end to the bridge, we just don’t know yet what it will look like.

So, in the meantime, the kids are plugging away at school. Olivia has been thriving at a small Christian School in St. Petersburg that runs the A.C.E. curriculum. Thaddeus and Sarah are doing a superb job at keeping up with Calvary Preparatory Academy online. We get to see Isabelle regularly even though she’s plugged into the Zeal School of Ministryen at Calvary Chapel Fellowship of St. Petersburg.

Gen has had the opportunity to do some music recently. She’s led worship for a few churches, and has been slowly making some connections with other musicians and song-writers here.

And, I’ve had the privilege of teaching a few times at various churches. For the next couple of months I’ve been asked to do “pulpit supply” at Azalea Baptist Church in St. Petersburg while they search for a new pastor.

We are both continuing some individual counselling that was provided for us after the family debriefing. I feel like I’m in the locker room at halftime. I have almost 20 years of ministry (great ministry!) behind me and it’s good to take some time to pause and reflect. I’m doing some reading, lots of talking and praying and considering what kinds of changes I’d like to make in preparation for the next 20 years.

I’m encouraged by two things. First, that when the gardener comes through and prunes, it’s in order that there might be “much more fruit.” Second, I’m encouraged because I felt the Lord make Psalm 32:8-11 personal to me recently.

“I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with my eye on you, I will give counsel. Do not be like a horse or mule, without understanding, that must be controlled with bit and bridle or else it will not come near you. Many pains come to the wicked, but the one who trusts in the Lord will have faithful love surrounding him.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭32:8-10‬ ‭CSB‬‬

https://bible.com/bible/1713/psa.32.8-10.CSB

We are still living temporarily in a 2 bedroom condo in South Tampa. It’s like an overgrown hotel room and the pool is really, really nice. We are still doing lots of paperwork from our move, it’s incredible how many details still need attention.

Because it looks like we will be in this transition for the rest of the calendar year, and because a handful of people wanted to support us financially through it, I’ve registered as a missionary with Axia International. They can receive donations on our behalf in any currency and will help us with the paperwork associated with it. As you might imagine, the honorariums from pulpit supply and guest speaking and worship leading are a tremendous blessing but don’t quite cover all our expenses. We would like to stay available for ministry and make good use of this “halftime.”

So, that’s the update!

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2022 in Uncategorized