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Russ Ramsey

pastor, author

Russ Ramsey is the author of Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative and Behold the King of Glory: A Lenten Narrative(forthcoming). He serves as a pastor at Midtown Fellowship Church in Nashville, Tennessee. He and his wife Lisa have four amazing kids.

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The Last of a Generation- Part I, Landing

“The Last of a Generation-Part 2, Ground Transportation”

“The Last of a Generation-Part 3, Departure”

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The tires under the right wing touched the ground for a split second before a gust of wind thrust us back up into the turbulence.

Manhattan lay to my left, Newark to my right.

Another rush of pressure pushed us back down to the [...]

Oak Hills Online

Hey, Rabbit Room.  It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but wanted to take a moment to highlight a new development in the cybersphere.  Earlier this year Andrew Peterson posted about ten of my sermons from an Easter series I was preaching, and I got a few questions asking if we had the rest [...]

The Hurt Locker: Being More Than One Thing At A Time

Vincent van Gogh put the barrel of his pistol to his chest and pulled the trigger. Earnest Hemingway, three weeks shy of his 62nd birthday, used a shotgun and aimed about a foot higher.  Heroine and cocaine took Belushi and Farley.  It appears, at least in part, that small armies of sycophants with the power to prescribe [...]

Leave It Like It Is

Back, back, back.  Back before the compact disc, back before the personal computer, back before the existence of the mini-van, there was a public library in Tipton, Indiana with a brand new laser disk player, complete with about seven film choices.

In my mesh football jersey and yellow swimming trunks, bike resting unlocked in the rack [...]

For Moms About To Rock, I Salute You!

I grew up in rural Indiana, in a small town where the only kids around who had long hair usually had reputations as trouble-makers as well.  And there weren’t many of them.  Back in Jr. High I decided I wanted to play electric guitar, and found inspiration from the glam metal bands popular at the [...]

Marking Time on Good Friday – A Lenten Reflection

My work as a pastor has me dealing a lot right now with the chronology and sequence of the last days and even hours of Jesus’ earthly ministry prior to His death.  I put the following image together based on my best analysis and synthesis of the four Gospel narratives’ treatment of Good Friday.  The information in this [...]

With Friends Like Pontius Pilate—A Lenten Reflection

“Pontius Pilate sought to release Jesus.” —John 19:12 

Think about that for a second.It has been years since I observed a proper Lenten Season.  But the activities in New Orleans on the news are telling me Lent has begun.  Lent, this year, converges with a sermon series I’m working on dealing with the final week of Jesus’ life.  [...]

A Valentine’s Song of the Day: Andy Gullahorn

With Valentine’s Day upon us, I thought Andy Gullahorn’s song “Give it Time” would be a fitting “Song of the Day.”  This song is wise, and I think rare, because it touches on the wonder and beauty of love that is tended to over time.  Songs about love bowling you over and filling you up [...]

After I’m Gone

Remember the movie “Big Fish” from 2003?  I recall sitting in my living room as the credits rolled, being struck by a thought I had never considered: my mom and dad had lives before I was born that were rich, complex and virtually unknown to me except for some basic details like where they lived, went to [...]

Brevity, Part 2 – Epiphany All Skate

A few weeks back I wrote a piece on the discipline of brevity, and it was a ton of fun to hear your responses.  So today I’m sitting here tucked away in the corner of a coffee shop with free wi-fi, thinking about 2008, and wanted to bring an exercise to the Rabbit Room table.  What would it [...]

Tell Me A Story, Louis L’Amour

“A mistake constantly made by those who should know better is to judge people of the past by our standards rather than their own. The only way men or women can be judged is against the canvas of their own time.” –Louis L’Amour

I don’t know what exactly happened to good old-fashioned Westerns, or why over the past 20 years they have been seen as somehow less erudite than the other tales we tell. Maybe it’s because the stories are so familiar, even predictable. Maybe it’s because the answers they give are too easy, what with the white hats and the black hats. Maybe its because we don’t believe life could be as simple as all that.

But what if things were just that simple? What if we insist on complicating things that really aren’t that complicated? What if this life was something where a good horse, being able to tell right from wrong, knowledge of where a man could find fresh water and how to handle yourself in a fight were among the most important things you could know, and you took everything else as it came? Is there such a story to tell anymore?

How many stories are there to tell, really? Sure, I know the details change, as do the characters, places, customs and all. But in the end, are they really all that different from each other?

Brevity

It has been unintentional, but on several occasions here in the Rabbit Room we’ve discussed the use and power of words, and eventually someone (often this guy) steers the conversation to musing about the difficulty and discipline of brevity– using fewer words for greater impact.  Clearly, I’m only talking a good game here.  Still, I’m fascinated [...]

Virtual Advent Wreath, Christmas – Immanuel, God with Us

Here in these weeks leading up to Christmas, we have been posting a series of meditations focused on the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospels.  For more on what Advent means and why many Christains observe it, here’s a short introduction.  Now we come to the last entry of our virtual advent wreath– the meditation that accompanies [...]

Virtual Advent Wreath, Week 4 – One Star Lit for Them

Here in these weeks leading up to Christmas, we are posting a series of meditations focused on the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospels.  For more on what Advent means and why many Christains observe it, here’s a short introduction.  If you’d like to make a wreath of your own for your family or study group, [...]

Virtual Advent Wreath, Week 3 – Where the Lambs are Kept

Here in these weeks leading up to Christmas, we are posting a series of meditations focused on the story of Jesus’ birth from the Gospels.  For more on what Advent means and why many Christains observe it, here’s a short introduction.  If you’d like to make a wreath of your own for your family or study group, [...]