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Russ Ramsey

author, pastor, speaker

Russ Ramsey grew up in the fields of Indiana. He studied at Taylor University and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM) before becoming a pastor. He and his wife and four children live in Nashville Tennessee. Russ is the author of Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative (Rabbit Room Press, 2011) and Behold the King of Glory: A Narrative of the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Crossway, 2015.)


Todd and Christie Bragg gave me a gift, and I’m going to attempt to regift some of what they gave me with these words. Todd turned 40 the other day. It was Sunday, December 18—the day of the Behold the Lamb of God concert at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium.

Christie put together a huge after party for Todd in the upper balcony of the Ryman. She invited what looked like at least a hundred friends. But it wasn’t just a party. It was a surprise party.

Todd is a drummer in Nashville and he’s worked with countless musicians in this town over the years, so he knows a lot of people. But Todd is not just a drummer with a lot of connections. He’s a very kind and generous friend who, when you’re talking with him, treats you like you’re the only person in the world. So this party wasn’t just a room full of business associates. I imagine most all of them would call Todd not just a friend, but a dear friend.

Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative — Day 1

[Editor’s Note: We want to take a moment to celebrate the release of Russ Ramsey’s first book. He’s worked long and hard on it we’re anxious for each of you to enjoy the fruits of his labor. So congratulations, Russ. I’m happy to add the title of “Author” next to your name on the masthead.

Here’s the first chapter of Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative. If you’d like to download a sample and see what the actual book looks like inside, you can do so here. –Pete Peterson.]

He did not have a home.

People said he survived on little more than wild honey and locusts, and by the look of him, it couldn’t have been much more. He wore a coat of camel hair he cinched together with a leather belt, just like the prophet Elijah had done.

Normally he was the one people stopped to behold, but at this particular moment, as he stood waist-deep in the Jordan, anyone looking at him saw that his attention was fixed on the man from Galilee headed his way. His face wore a mix of astonishment and joy as the man approached.

“Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”

Art Museums for the Uninitiated

“Let’s spend the afternoon at the art museum.” How do those words make you feel? Many, if not most of us, would probably admit to some apprehension. Why is this? Most of the art museums I’ve been to have been really affordable if not free, save for the suggested donation. So it’s not the money. And every one I’ve ever visited has been a beautifully designed facility. So it’s not the architecture either.

So what restrains our excitement about a day in a building full of art? May I suggest it is the art? I don’t mean to suggest the art is bad. Of course it isn’t. The apprehension many of us feel is due to the fact that art is demanding. It hangs on the wall with its amigos calling “look up here, look up here.” A day in an art gallery will wear you out and you’ll wonder how the simple act of looking could be so exhausting. The answer is, of course, that there’s nothing simple about really looking at art. If you let it, a great painting can demand as much from you as reading War and Peacein one sitting.

Sally Lloyd-Jones: Simple, but not too Simple

A few years ago there appeared a post here about The Jesus Storybook Bible. That post was my introduction to the writings of Sally Lloyd-Jones. I don’t know what Sally’s writing process is like—if she tucks away in the corner of a coffee shop or spreads out at her own kitchen table, and I don’t know if she types her words into a computer or writes them by hand on a yellow legal pad. What I do know—and what is obvious to anyone familiar with her work—is that she is a disciplined, careful, whimsical and dead-serious writer of children’s literature.

A World Short on Masters

Have you ever looked at an actual Rembrandt? I mean really looked? I have. And at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, it’s exhausting. Why? Because Rembrandt was a master. If you will dare to look, he will provide more than you can take in. This is what masters do.

Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn was a Dutch painter who lived from 1606-1669, and has been widely regarded as the greatest painter Europe has ever produced. Even while he lived people called him “the master,” and eager, rising artists would study under him, trying to reproduce his technique and form. The result of this, as German art historian Wilhelm von Bode noted, was that “Rembrandt painted 700 pictures. Of these, 3,000 are still in existence.”

Arrest My Senses, Continued

Follow me a bit further, if you will, down the road I started in my previous post about the woman who anointed Jesus on that Wednesday evening of that first Easter week. Mark writes, “While Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman […]

Wednesday of Easter Week – Arrest My Senses


(I’ve included the primary Scripture reference for this meditation at the end of the post.)

The first several days of the first Easter week were filled with tension and anger from Jesus’ opponents and unflinching resolve from Jesus. He had been on the move, juggling His time between Bethany, Jerusalem and the Mount […]

The Empty Pages

My first journal was a yellow legal pad. So was my second. Then came a series of leathers, hardbacks and spiral bounds. The pens evolved from whatever was on hand to a few chosen favorites—mostly black, mostly medium point.

Early on, the pages were filled with the prayers of a high school kid who wanted everything […]

Sarah: A Poem

I know you laughed the day you first were told
that you would have a son who would
shine like a star above the desert.

The Distance Between Context and Complaining: A Love Story

I love my wife. I love my kids. And I love the call the Lord has on my life to proclaim His word in the context of the local church.

Seriously, I feel like I’m getting away with something. I am one of the richest people I know, and I’m grateful for it.  Time with my wife nourishes […]

3D Just Doesn’t Seem 3D to Me

It’s been a long time since I’ve written here– busy and filled with a lot of transition in my family’s life. We are in the process of relocating to Nashville, and we’re super excited about it.

That season of transition has had a lot to do with my radio silence here. As I’ve thought about starting […]

Flabbergasted: An Audiobook Enshrined

It’s no secret that all of us here love books. But we happen to be big fans of audiobooks as well, and one in particular. At some point in the past couple of years, we’ve each come across this special piece of work, and though it’s affected each of us differently, those effects have […]

The Rabbit Room Virtual Advent Wreath Podcast, The Christ Candle: Pass Over Us

So you know, these Advent stories are from my recent sermon series at Oak Hills. The podcast audio is excerpted from those sermons as well. If you’re interested in hearing these sermons in their entirety, check out Oak Hills’ sermon page.

For more on Advent and the Advent Wreath

For Week 1- The True Tall Tale

For […]

The Rabbit Room Virtual Advent Wreath Podcast, Week Four: He Wrestles with God

For more on Advent and the Advent Wreath

For Week 1- The True Tall Tale

For Week 2- Number the Stars of Heaven

For Week 3- God Will Provide A Lamb


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The Rabbit Room Virtual Advent Wreath Podcast, Week Three: God Will Provide A Lamb

For more on the idea of the Advent Wreath.

For The Rabbit Room Virtual Advent Wreath, Podcast, Week 1: The True Tall Tale.

For The Rabbit Room Virtual Advent Wreath, Podcast, Week 2: The True Tall Tale.

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Click below to listen.