Archive for December 2008

Twitter Likes/Dislikes

December 31, 2008

If you hang around Oak Leaf people long enough, you will start to Twitter.  For several months now I’ve occasionally updated my whereabouts and happenings via cell phone and computer on this magical thing with all my Tweets.

Here’s a few likes and dislikes I’ve discovered in this world:

*  Superfast way to find out about something important.
*  A lot of humor…and I like to hear funny things.
*  A decent way to get to know a little bit about someone.
*  If you like random things and random links and pics, welcome.

*  Too easy an avenue for griping and complaining – about everything.
*  Superfast way to waste a lot of time.

Parent Roundtable

December 30, 2008

I’m looking forward to a lot of things in 09.  One of them is a Parent Roundtable that will be developed by March and will meet once a quarter.  Here’s the scoop:  In our kid’s ministry new ideas are run by staff, lead volunteers, prayed about, etc.  Everything we do has in mind the idea of “Partnering with Parents”.  It’s not simply drop your kid off for a hour each Sunday.  Through resources and lead teachers and workshops we want to do everything we can to equip parents to help build faith AT HOME.

I’m excited about this Parent Roundtable.  It will be me and a handful of parents (invitation only…ha, we are a secret club!) discussing vision and practicality of our stuff.  In other words, I want to know if we are connecting.  Does the way we do _________ help you at home?  Was this useful?  What do you think families struggle with most?  What should be the main point of our Parenting Workshop?  What are the local needs of families in our community?  The vision of our kid’s ministry is __________, does that make sense to you?  Feedback feedback feedback.

Call it an Advisory Board.  Call it an Input Group.  Even call them Deacons if you want (wait, that’s crazy).  But I think it’s vitally important that they have a voice in to this OH SO IMPORTANT ministry of Oak Leaf.

Bonus:  Wonder if I should build a Knights of the Round Table type thingy and make us all wear costumes?


December 29, 2008

To charge or invest with a trust or responsibility; charge with a specified office or duty involving trust: “We entrusted him with our lives.”

Recently I was talking with Dana about our kid’s education.  We are praying about our options over the next several years…homeschool, public school, private school, no school at all (ha, just a joke on that one).

The word ENTRUST kept coming to mind.  As parents, we entrust our kids to many things.  Babysitters, schools, churches, etc.  It’s a big deal.  We all want the best possible choice in every area.  It’s a big decision.  Concerning education, we are often entrusting our kids to their teachers and hoping for a good outcome.  ULTIMATELY, though, we all know the responsibility is on US.  We, the parents, are responsible for our kid’s education.  We, the parents, have been entrusted by God to raise our kids…not anybody else.

The same healthy view can be applied to the church.  We, the parents, are ultimately responsible for teaching our kids about Christ.

We know the numbers:  The church has about 40 hours a year with your kid…you have 3000.  Yet, it is a beautiful PARTNERSHIP.  You are entrusting them to loving caring adults, if only for an hour on a Sunday morning.  And at Oak Leaf, that is a HUGE deal for us.  We want to build on that trust and do everything we can to point them to an awesome God who has a grand plan for their life.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2008


High School Football

December 23, 2008

One of the best high school football stories I’ve ever heard:


Tis The Season…to pray

December 22, 2008

It dawned on me this morning that I have much to pray about lately:

*  Staff had the opportunity to pray over a sick child this morning in the office.

*  I’m praying for a family member who was diagnosed with cancer last week.

*  Praying for four services at OLC – that all things will come together and hundreds more will be reached with the Gospel.

To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Random Mind Unload

December 20, 2008

oak_leaf_travel_ottawaPeople that knock Alabama (my friends on Twitter) need to repent.

Pecan Pie is overrated.

Going to see Yes Man tonight.  I like movies.  Just about any movie.  Australia was a good movie.

I’m sitting in a living room in AL right now…surrounded by Bama fans.  Unfortunately, it’s a Crimson & White Christmas this year.  😦

My wife works too much.  That will change over the next 3 months.

I’m missing The Leaf tomorrow.  First time since I came on staff 7 months ago.  I guess sleeping in will be good, but I’ll truly MISS it.

Kaela Bostic is home from college.  She’s hosting in The City tomorrow at The Leaf.  She’s a foundational layer of KidVenture.

About to go eat some Taco Soup.

OLC Staff

December 18, 2008

A few tidbits on the OLC Staff:

Anthony – Sets up his points better then anyone I’ve ever seen.  You will CLEARLY know why what he’s about to say is important.  Also, he likes Mountain Dew.

Will – The reason COOL things happen on stage Sunday morning.  Works crazy hard to pull stuff off.  Also, he likes the word ridiculous.

Michael – The heart and vision behind Oak Leaf Church.  RELENTLESS about accomplishing what God has called us all to here in Cville.  Also, he likes feminine cars and jeans.

Tracy – Organization and a HUGE help, with anything and everything.  Also, she still looks 14 and does cartwheels in the office.

Mache – Part of the Quickbooks cult.  Chants “REPORT report report”.  Also, she knows of every weird email ever sent over the internet.

Helen – The coolest “old” lady I’ve ever met.  Loves people.  Loves her family.  Loves our office phone system (ha).  Also, when she LAUGHS you can hear it in Canton.

Jake – Both a youth intern and a rock star.  Knows STUDENTS, loves students.  Also, can rap his order at a drive thru.

Jody – Great LEADER.  Journey Groups rolling along now at Oak Leaf because of his hard work.  Also, he heats up really smelly food in the office microwave.

Matt – Student worship, adult worship, kid worship…see a theme?  Heart of WORSHIP.  Also, he thinks he can play poker but he can’t.

House of Rock

December 16, 2008

house-of-rock-buildKidVenture frame walls starting to take shape.

Sunday Moment

December 15, 2008

neil-in-cityI was making my rounds Sunday when I stopped and captured Neil with my cell phone camera sharing important Scripture with the K-5th.  He had 60 kids in 3rd service alone.  Rock on.


December 15, 2008

big-family-picBig Family…crazy family…celebrating a big (80th) birthday…in a small town with lots of bbq and sweet tea…wouldn’t have it any other way.

Final Verdict

December 13, 2008

51728551_071d42b545Auburn is set to hire Gene Chizik as its next Head Football Coach.  A few comments:

What I like:
* He was AU’s defensive coordinator in 04 when the Tigers went undefeated.
* The following year he helped lead Texas to a National Championship.
* He played football at a SEC school – Florida.

What I don’t like:
* My favorite was Turner Gill.  (Take a sec and listen to the radio interview.)
* As head coach at Iowa State the past two seasons, Chizik posted a 5-19 record.  Ouch.
* Most people seem to think the Auburn Athletic Dept. is functioning in lalaLand lately.  If they are right, then this was a bad hire.

Ultimately though…
* I’m just a fan, what do I know?
* I’ll be the biggest AU fan that NW Georgia has ever seen, regardless of who the coach is.
* Will always be a proud grad.

Welcome Coach Chizik


December 13, 2008

I recently listened to a podcast from a pastor who talked about how Honor is a lost art in our generation.  (If you are thinking this pastor is probably some old dude, think again.  Hint:  He’s less than 30 and pastors a very large church in Charlotte, North Carolina.)  He specifically talked about the honor and respect we should have for our pastors…which was a good word to hear in a time in which the popular trend is to just be buddy buddy with your pastor.  It was a good challenge to hear.

Right now my wife is putting Christmas sweaters on our kids and a bow in my daughter’s hair.  They are abnormally dressed for a Saturday morning.  Family picture today?  Nope.  A quick trip over to beautiful Alabama for my Mamaw’s 80th birthday party.  A time, a chance to honor a great woman.  A time to explain to my kids that we wear clothes we normally wouldn’t because that’s what SHE LIKES…and it’s not about us.  A chance to gather with 100 other people…family, old friends, church members…to honor a life that has taught us so much.

Proverbs 21:21
He who pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and HONOR.

I miss the college days

December 11, 2008

The following video shows a few things:

1.  A very good stress reliever
2.  College was full of pointless acts…many which were a ton of fun
3.  I never recall the library quite like this

Video HERE

Gift Exchange

December 11, 2008

A must read on Christmas gift exchange:


My Pastor Has Taught Me…

December 10, 2008

Here’s a brief list of some important (and off-the-wall) things my pastor has taught me.  Feel free to leave a comment with things you’ve learned from your pastor.

Have some guts. The mission you are called to is one in which somebody gave their life.  The least you could do is have the boldness to speak up or take on a challenge that may be difficult.

Do anything short of sin to draw people to Christ. Oak Leaf has done a lot of crazy things and had some uniquely titled series.  A lot of prayer, time, and energy go in to these things and the HEART of them is to reach the lost.

Jesus came for the sick, not the religious. Very simple.

Think outside the box…then think outside that box too.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s a lot of laughter around the office.  That’s good for team chemistry.

>  Even FSU grads can make good leaders.
>  Twittering can be a spiritual thing.
>  Straight guys wear $100 jeans.  (Never knew that before.)

Tis The Season

December 10, 2008

The Church Staff got elfd.

Video HERE

Her Letter, My Prayer

December 8, 2008

I received an awesome, encouraging letter from a Kindergartner yesterday at church.  Actually, it was more like an XL post it note…but it was hand written and came at a great time.  Yesterday was a “blah” day.  Things were going—but nothing felt excellent.

Her note says four things.  These four simple things are my prayer & action this week.  Check it out:

God Bless our church
We thank Him so much for this day
We thank you
We love you

Good simple reminder.  Pray for God’s blessing in every area of our work.  Pray that we stay committed to the mission that He has called us to.  Thank Him for each and every day.  Thank the volunteers around you.  Thank them again.  And again.  One more time for good measure.  Tell them you love them…in word, in action, in appreciation.

It’s gonna be a great week.

Cow Kidnap

December 8, 2008



Review in Pics

December 6, 2008

kinley-cocoa1Over Thanksgiving, Kinley found a new friend…Cocoa, my sister in law’s dog.

oakleaf-yardsale1Oak Leaf Redemption yard sale today.  Good job Sherry.  Good job volunteers.  Way to brave the cold!  (I thought Anthony would get a kick out of the OLC sign next to “cash only” sign.)

oakleaf-yardsale-21Most interesting (weirdest) item at the yard sale.

floridabama1A confident UF fan from Tennessee made a pit stop today at the Cartersville Chickfila.

snotnose1Our OLC journey group went to a local children’s home last night.  We brought lasagna, a rock climbing wall, and ingredients to make salt water taffy.  To me, the taffy resembled something.  Good job Nash family (Brad, Tiffany, Brett – in background above – and Clara).

Surprise Surprise!

December 3, 2008

I like surprises (well, at least the good ones).

Last night me and the 4 kiddos surprised Mommy by putting up the Christmas tree and decorations up before she got home.  We had Christmas music playing and most of the stuff up…and yes, I was attempting to earn brownie points.

Surprises accomplish several things around the Sutton Household:

  1. The kids think it’s incredibly exciting.  They like to surprise anybody and anything.  (Ever notice they tell you where they are going to hide before they go there?  And then they still yell SURPRISE when you “find” them?!)  Their love for surprises works as a distraction.  I use it to keep them occupied when I’m with all four of them by myself.
  2. Good for the marriage.  I don’t do it enough…and often I think more money is needed (surprise vacation)…yet, little meaningful less expensive things can be done.  Surprise gifts are healthy for a relationship.
  3. Makes birthdays a ton more fun.

Top 3 Auburn Responses

December 2, 2008

The answer is yes.  Yes, I will blog about Iron Bowl 08.  No, I’m not going to ignore it like it didn’t happen.  (Though I am trying to find mind erasing technology to delete it out of my permanent memory.)

This is how it’s going to go down:  I’m going to list the top 3 most pathetic Auburn responses.  In other words, I’m going to list common comebacks from my fellow Auburn fans that are used when getting picked on from a rival Bama fan.  Here’s why I’m doing this.  A.  Because we lost…actually, got our butts whipped…plain and simple.  Can’t sugar coat that.  B.  I’m not going to pretend like it doesn’t matter (well, in the big picture of life…it doesn’t) or that I don’t care.  I do care.  I’m extremely competitive and hate all things Crimson.  I love to beat them…even in women’s soccer.  I hate to lose in anything.  I especially hate to see my beloved team get destroyed by Alabama.  So, congrats on a GREAT year Bama fans.  Enjoy it.  Brag about it.  Quite the accomplishment.

1.  “So, we beat ya’ll 6 years in a row.”
Ummm…who cares.  Yeah, it was nice.  Yeah, it’s a great thing to accomplish.  But they just shut us out 36 to zip.  That stinks bad.

2.  “You only went undefeated because the SEC was down this year.”
Not really buying this one either.  Yes, the SEC was down this year…but dude, undefeated is undefeated.  I read the following on an Auburn forum:

Enjoy the season, bammers. This has got to be the sorriest SEC in the last 25 yrs that you have excelled in this year. Ole Miss finishes 2nd in the West. LSU goes 7-5. The rest of the West has a losing season. UGA coughs up 45 pts in a loss to Ga Tech to finish 9-3. Tenn has a losing season. The conference stinks so bad that Vandy was able to win enough SEC games to finish bowl eligible. The only team besides Fla and Bama in the BCS top 25 is UGA, and they come in at a whopping #16. Quite an accomplishment to run that vaunted gauntlet undefeated.

I understand the dude’s point, but I don’t care if you are in the Bartow County Football League, a perfect season is an incredibly hard thing to do.  Ask Florida, who averages 50 points a game lately but loss to Ole Miss.

3.  “At least more of our fans actually went to the University”
This may be true, but cmon…a third grader could think of something better.

If it sounds like I’m picking on my own crew, maybe it’s because I am a little.  Why not just say, “Wow, congrats.  Good game.  I hope we get to pay ya’ll back next year”…and then move on.  Much better to do that than spout lame excuses or try to downplay a terrific success.

Man, I gotta stop reading sports forums.

Parent Discussion Notes 11/30/08

December 1, 2008

Each Monday I’ll post a kid friendly help sheet for parents to discuss Sunday’s message with their kids.  Great for a quick family devo.  Thanks to Suzy for writing these each week.


Note:  This is based off the adult service, not the kid’s message.  This stems from Michael’s good idea a few weeks back.

new story to tell

December 1, 2008

Though the advancement of media has dampened our social skills, we are still a society of stories.  We still connect with others through hearing their story.

Dudes especially do this when it comes to sports and hunting.  You can’t just simply tell a bud about the big game you went to on Saturday night with a few basic sentences…you must tell the details of tailgating (story 1), the walk to the stadium (story 2), the fight you almost got in to with an opposing fan (exaggerated story 3), and the details of the 3/4 pound burger you gulped down at the famous burger joint on campus (true story 4).

transition ahead

After church yesterday, I began to think about many of the new stories that are developing each week around Oak Leaf.  It energizes me anytime I stop and ponder the miraculous work of God.  So many are entering our “front door” each week (church @ the movies) with their own story to tell.  And often it’s not a fun story.  Some are full of hurt and regret.  Some are empty…waiting on something worthwhile.  And some stories are so coated with religion it takes months and months to find reality.

When Jesus invades our lives, though, the transformation is astounding!  Watching this process never gets old.  New stories are developed…sometimes overnight, sometimes a process of months or years.  And these same men, women, and children who were recently reciting routine stories of sin and frustration, are finding their hearts stirred with a new beginning…a new hope…a brand new story to tell.

Psalm 40:3
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.