"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

A Time For Personal Reflection and Thankfulness

Today marks my 10th International Mission Board trustee meeting since my election to the board in June of 2005. The IMB has six full board meetings a year and at the July meeting in Richmond this summer I will complete two years of service. The plenary session tonight was filled with typical, yet important business of the IMB. The staff and administration work in the day to day operations of the world-wide work of the missionaries of the Southern Baptist Convention, and we trustees provide oversight, accountability, and ultimately authority to appoint the missionaries who eventually go to the field. The reports were very good tonight, including excellent committee reports, outstanding remarks from our President, and various other matters that required full board attention, but nothing earth shattering. The Mission Personnel Committee, chaired by Paul Chitwood, announced that they would present the report of the Ad Hoc Committees reexamining the new policies on private prayer language and baptism at the next IMB trustee meeting this May in Kansas City.

I thought I might use this post to reflect just a little on the past ten IMB meetings and some of the things I have learned about the SBC and the way we do missions and cooperate with each other.

(1). First, I am amazed at the level of interest and knowledge of the inner workings of the Southern Baptist Convention by the average Southern Baptist pastor and layman. I think that blogs operated by Southern Baptists should be given a great deal of credit for the rising awareness of what is taking place within our convention. I myself have learned a great deal from reading what others have said, and are saying, about the SBC. And, unlike some who may believe oppenness and transparency are not healthy, I am of the opinion that kingdom work is always better when everything possible is done in the light of day.

(2). Second, even though there has been a measure of conflict over the new policies at the International Mission Board, I know without a doubt that everyone on our board, and I am sure this is true of other boards as well, really do have the best interest of the SBC at heart. We may have various opinions of what is best for the SBC, but there is no doubt that the men and women with whom I serve do believe they would only do those things that would help the SBC in the end. Obviously, my view is that we work best as a convention when we let the churches be the ultimate authority, and we choose to cooperate with each other for the sake of missions. Some seem to desire uniform doctrinal interpretation on all tertiary doctrines, while others of us are desiring a focus on the essentials and missions, with freedom of interpretation in those non-essential areas of faith and practice. The future of the SBC will be determined in large measure by which group ultimately convinces the majority of the SBC that their view is more essential for future success in missions and world evangelism.

(3). Third, I believe it would be wise for every agency to examine how we do trustee meetings. In my opinion there is no reason for us to have SIX meetings a year at the IMB. We could get by easily with four, and our President has recommended that we move to four in the future. I for one would support this move. There are a handful of trustees who have gone on the record opposing this recommendation, but I wonder if it's not just because some enjoy the travel, hotels and meals and would hate to give that up. Frankly, I enjoy the travel too, but I personally think staff and administration could lead us to be more cost efficient and time effective moving to quarterly meetings and hope that it will happen in the near future.

(4). Fourth, I can see how easy it would be for someone to obtain a denominational post and seek to orchestrate the trustee system to benefit his or her personal longevity and/or financial gain. I am not by any means saying that this has happened in any particular agency, but when an SBC entity deals with millions and millions of dollars it is essential that those responsible for oversight (i.e. 'the trustees') be completely independent from administrative and executive staff. The IMB is a very large organization, but I believe trustees and administration do a very good job of financial accountability. That's not to say there are not, nor have been problems, but I can honestly say, at least at the IMB, the oversight is conscientious and sincere. Dr. Rankin made mention of the tight controls on expenditures of CP money during the plenary session (every CP dollar expenditure at the IMB is reported).

(5). Finally, even though there have been some tough times and rough days these last few months, I can honestly say there are no regrets. The thousands of people that I have met, the genuinely wonderful missionaries that I have come to know in the Pacific Rim, Africa, Central Asia, East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central America and other regions of the world make me realize that Southern Baptists truly are on mission.

In His Grace,


Wade Burleson

45 comments:

Jeff Richard Young said...

Dear Brother Wade,

Thank you so much for keeping us informed! I have long been a flag-waver for the IMB and NAMB in the churches I have served, but this past year is the first period during which I have known anything about the inner workings of the IMB. I have agreed with much, but not all that you have said over the past year plus, but I agree completely with your view of openness in the trustee boards.

You have been slow to question people's motives, and I wish you had kept to that policy instead of writing that your fellow trustees who oppose going to four meetings are doing so just because they enjoy the free travel. You have said that the IMB trustees are a group of very fine people, and I hesitate to believe that such people would really make IMB decisions on the basis of personal comfort. Is that naive? I hope not.

Have a safe trip home.

Love in Christ,

Jeff

peter lumpkins said...

Dear Wade,

Exceptional post. I appreciate your perspective very much.

Grace for this morning. With that, I am...

Peter

martyduren said...

Hey Wade,

Nice job, dude. Thanks for mentioning the number of meetings--that most definitely needs to be reduced. We could save a bunch of money on room service alone.

TruthOfActs said...

Peter,
Hey, I need your sharp mind on yesterday’s post.

Wade,
I appreciate yours and Rankin’s concern of spending money on unnecessary meetings that could be used on the mission field.

I wonder how many meetings per year would be necessary to take care of the same amount of business, if each person paid their own way as a lot of messengers do when going to the SBC.

I would think the SBC would have more business than the IMB, and the SBC takes care of it in one meeting per year.

A preacher going to an IMB meeting gives him a little vacation from his usual duties.

It’s a shame the IMB stopped missionaries from having even one vacation in their whole life, but must work state-side assignment.

Is their work to raise money needed so the IMB can have extra meetings?

I know that sounds harsh, but facts are facts.
Rex Ray

S.A.M. said...

Wade,
Looks like we will just miss you as my family and I will be in Richmond at ILC for our orientation starting August 6. We should be in the field in October of this year after FPO. Would have liked to have met you, however we probably will cross paths in the future. Bless you in your travels and keep preaching the truth.

SAM

Mike said...

Wade,
Have you been been returned to full trustee status including assignment to committee(s)? Thanks.

Barjonah said...

Rex Ray,

The missionaries have vacation. In fact, with the availability of missions housing around the world and cheap flights, missionary families have often seen things most Americans could only dream of.

Now, if by vacation, you are picturing 5 star accomodations and a week of golf in Dubai, then few do. But, the MFP (Manual of Field Personnel) lays out a very generous vacation policy.

Stateside Assignment is NOT vacation. It is NOT intended to be vacation.

Please don't speak so adamently of that which you do not know. Especially when it is intended to show ill-intent on the part of others.

Anonymous said...

So now we must wait until May to hear the report of the Ad Hoc Committees regarding the baptism and ppl guidelines, is that right?

It seems to take a long time to get committee reports, but this may be normal for the IMB BoT.

Seeing how it has already been about a year and a half since the new, more restrictive guidelines have been in place, and seeing how at least a majority of the trustees voted in favor of them, and in view of the fact that there seem to be few (perhaps none other than you, Wade) trustees publicly voicing their opposition to the guidelines, are you optimistic that they will indeed be overturned and new, less restrictive guidelines put in place? If so, when might this happen?

I never understood the rationale for the new restrictive guidelines in the first place, but it seems like the majority of trustees have no problem with them for wouldn't we have seen some change already if that were the case? If a majority of trustees truly wanted to change the guidelines, why the long wait? Perhaps the majority like things just as they are.

Could you, as a trustee, call for a vote to change the guidelines at any time, such as at this meeting? Or must this go through the Ad Hoc Committees period?

Just wondering, for with every day that passes, more and more potential candidates are rejected or simply don't even apply through the IMB. That may not be the worst thing that could happen, for it could spawn new alternate ways for sending folks overseas, thus giving SBC members other choices. But if the IMB seeks to remain the only sending agency for SBC members, can we honestly say that reducing the numbers seeking appointment is our goal?

Can Richmond staff give you any numbers or estimates of number of candidates who have been turned down because of the new guidelines? Any way to know how many simply have not applied?

The best to you and all the trustees the rest of this week.

Steve

Bowden McElroy said...

Decreasing costs and demonstrating greater faith in the president and his staff are only two reasons to move from six to four meetings per year. A more compelling reason has to do with involvement of the laity.

Six meeting each year - with each trip consuming three days - is a total of 18 days per year away from work. The typical lay person with two weeks vacation (10) per year could not afford to serve on the board.

That leaves retired or self-employed or well-to-do lay men and women who are able to serve. Surely we can diversify the IMB board a little more than that.

Wade Burleson said...

Jeff Richard Young,

I included myself in the category of those who enjoy the travel, so I think you may have possibly misunderstood my intent.

What I am saying is I do not understand the rationale for NOT following the President's recommendation -- rather, OPPOSING it publicly. Any trustee who would do that must answer for his own motives.

I think the President makes sense.

I also think we need to reduce trustees from 89 to a lesser number, and I would be the first to volunteer to step down if this were done.

Wade Burleson said...

Bowden,

Spot on.

Wade Burleson said...

Steve,

You ask some good questions. I am a fully functioning trustee attending all business sessions and forums, but it would be inappropriate for me to make any recommendations regarding the policies. I will wait for the report.

I have asked the question how many people have been left out of appointment because of the new policies and received various answers. It is well over one hundred, possibly more.

We'll see what happens in May.

Wade Burleson said...

Mike,

Still no committee appointment, but a fulling functioning trustee. A committee assignment is the perogative of the chairman, but the Executive Committee probably has his ear on this one.

Wade Burleson said...

I am in the plenary session and then having to head home a tad early to fulfill my promise to my boys to take them skiing in Breckinridge, CO during their Spring break.

Blessings to all.

Wade

volfan007 said...

wade,

just wondering here, and i would really like your input and others on this. about your ski trip to colorado....when you go, is there the chance of you being called back due to funeral, someone near death, etc.? and, what would you do if you had just unpacked your bags and you got the call,and the family wanted you to come back and do the funeral?

this is something that has plagued me thru out my ministry. going on vacation with the threat of being called back home. and, it has happened to me at least a couple of times. and, does a minister really rest with that possibility hanging over his head? of course, you are in a very large church....with many ministers, i'm sure. so, maybe you dont have to deal with this like most of us do. but, i would welcome your thoughts on this, and the thoughts of others. i am about to go on vacation during our spring break, and the thought of possibly being called home reaches out and grabs me around the throat. the sound of you going skiing with your boys in colorado sounds so relaxing, but do you deal with this?

david

ps. i know that this is not the subject at hand, but i'd appreciate yall's input....since wade introduced this in his comments. ok, wade?

Bart Barber said...

Bro. Wade,

You have said before, and you say again here: "Some seem to desire uniform doctrinal interpretation on all tertiary doctrines."

The statement puzzles me. Who desires uniform interpretation on the doctrine of the intermediate state? On the ordo salutis? On approaches to theodicy? On the meaning of "baptism for the dead" in 1 Corinthians? On the authorship of the book of Hebrews?

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that many Southern Baptists classify as second-tier a few issues that you happen to classify as third-tier?

Rick Thompson said...

Wade,

I am sure I am having more fun here in Keystone than you are there in Mephis. I truly regret having to miss this meeting, but this was the only opportunity my family had for Spring Break vacation. As much as I love the IMB, my family takes precedence.

I ditto your sentiment regarding our meetings. With the internet and communications technology, much of our work could be done without going to the expense of gathering 89 trustees 6 times a year. I sense that there are many trustees who agree with this but are awaiting staff recommendations for how to pull it off.

To those who question if Wade is the only trustee who ever expresses alternative views, you need to know that the board seeks to keep it's debate in house and out of public view. The board can change policy at any time if it feels it is harmful to our mission cause. The process however is deliberative and cumbersome. The current climate on the board is one that does not allow trustees to express their opposition outside of the meetings. Those who are anxious to see policy change should be patient and wait for the process to run it's course. If you are not satisfied with the results, real change can only take place through the convention elections.

To Volfans question I would say, tell your congregation where you are, arrange for contengencies with either lay leaders or available staff, and enjoy your time with your family. Your people can find other ministers, but your family can't find another daddy or husband. Many pastors make the mistake of modeling a kind of unhealthy co-dependency on their congregation.

Kevin Bussey said...

How much money would be saved by dropping 2 meetings?

Thanks for keeping us updated.

volfan007 said...

rick,

the problem is that in many churches the pastor is expected to come home if there's a death, or someone is near death. if you dont, then your ministry faces some very rough times.

at least, thats how it is around much of the mid south.

so, i agree with you, yet...how do you get away from the expectation without losing your ministry?

david

Alan Cross said...

Bart, this remains confusing to me, but weren't the second tier doctrines things that we should divide over? I mean, if we disagree over a second tier doctrine, according to Dr. Mohler, doesn't that mean that those who disagree should not be in the same denomination? I discussed this with you a few months ago, but I don't remember if we came to solid conclusion. Are you advocating that those of us who disagree with you on these issues leave the SBC? You have already said that Dr. Rankin couldn't teach Sunday School in your church because he practiced PPL. What do you say of the rest of us who just BELIEVE that the gifts have continued? Just wondering about your positions since you brought it up.

Wade,

I am again disappointed that the Ad Hoc committees have no final answer for us. I do not want to assign motives, but it seems that they are waiting until the last possible moment before the convention, thinking that a collective reaction will not have time to arise. Maybe that is not the case and they really need more time, but with the advent of the telephone and even things like email, it is hard to understand why this is taking so long. Maybe they think we'll forget? It is disappointing, to say the least.

Alan Cross said...

Bart,

To clarify, one of Dr. Mohler's examples of a 2nd Tier doctrine was infant baptism, if I remember correctly (I'm not looking at his article, and it has been some time). We would definitely divide over that. Are there some 2nd tier doctrines that we would divide over and some that we wouldn't? Who gets to decide?

Bart Barber said...

Alan,

Yes, you correctly recall that second-tier doctrines are those which separate different denominations that are all validly Christian. I would say that the denominational map of Christianity already has answered for us all whether views about spiritual gifts are denominationally divisive. Quite apparently, these questions divide denominations.

The point of my comment is to highlight our host's untenable (IMHO) assertion that there is such a thing as a Southern Baptist who wishes doctrinal uniformity on all tertiary issues.

Rick Thompson said...

Volfan,

Believe me, I understand. I was pastor of a church plant for 12 years. I was the original pastor of the church and by the time I left we had 3000 members. I knew every family in the church. They wanted me to do every wedding and every funeral. I had to learn the hard way to let go.

I know this sounds like an easy answer, but I believe it is an absolute, you need to coach your church that your primary responsibility is with your family. Tell them that you would not be a good pastor if you were not a good father and husband, so you are drawing the line on family time. Tell them that when you are on vacation, you are unavailable.

Of course there will be exceptions to this and you will know when that is. If a prominent member of the church dies or a child dies or if something happens that is devestating to the church family, you should set everything aside and minister to your church.

Aside from that, draw clear boundaries and let your church know what you are doing. Your mature church members will undersand and respect your convictions. Those who don't should not be enabled by you. If you are in a church that does not respect your need to be a good father and husband, either work to change your church or work to find another church. One thing I am sure of- God does not want you to sacrifice your family for the sake of His church.

With that I am off to the slopes to try to keep up with my teenage kids.

Alan Cross said...

Bart,

Thanks for the clarification. Not to draw you into an argument here (just a simple declaration of position is sufficient), but I guess that I can assume from your previous writings and your statement here that your position would be that continualists should find another denomination to be a part of? That we have no theological basis for being a part of the SBC, which is either cessationist or, as you call it, a posteriori cessationist? I don't want to assume or put words in your mouth, so I thought I would let you answer clearly. If you answer is what I remember it being, it fully explains why some of us think this is a really big deal.

Anonymous said...

My 'generous' amount of vacation is 30 days per year of service on the field. That includes weekends. We are encouraged to take one day a week off (that's 6 days on) during our 'regular work week.' That's career personal. It doesn't get any higher than 30 days. We are grateful for the time we are given. Many rarely take those 30 days that are given to them. You have to have money to travel outside your country. This is not a travel the world kind of job. I really didn't appreciate the comment that indicated that.

M with IB

TruthOfActs said...

Barjonah,
Sorry I said vacation instead of furlough. It was furloughs that were taken from missionaries and not vacations.

You are correct in saying “Stateside Assignment is NOT vacation. It is NOT intended to be vacation.”

That’s were the rub comes in. Can you imagine telling a soldier he can vacation while overseas, but when he goes home he will have Stateside Assignment?

At one time, my missionary son thought he could build a home on our farm while on a year furlough, but that was changed by a letter that said the policy manual would be put on the shelf. (1997)
Is it fair for missionaries to be hired under one set of rules and then change the rules?

The policy manual was replaced by:
1. A passion to know the Messiah and make Him known with a total abandonment that supersedes concerns of finances, family and personal fulfillment…and letters about cost of living become a thing of the past.
2. A confidence and willingness to follow the wisdom and guidance of God-appointed leadership whether we necessarily understand or agree.
3. A passion to share at home what God is doing and mobilize support for overseas work so that there is no consideration of what counts as a FURLOUGH obligation or not.

When my missionary uncle came from China on a year’s furlough, he would be thin and worn out, but when he returned he would weigh more, be rested and eager to serve the Lord. Once it was over 5 years before he saw his family.

While in Japan, I heard missionaries say they were glad to get back so they could rest from Stateside Assignment.

Barjonah, there’s a saying be careful not to work a good horse to death
Rex Ray

bryan riley said...

And I for one am thankful that you are there. May God bless you with His grace to continue following Him wholeheartedly throughout, no matter the apparent light or darkness that may surround you as you go.

Alan Cross said...

Question about the Fulough/Stateside Assignment thing:

If missionaries are on the field for 4 years and then have to spend 6 months to a year in the states raising support by speaking in umpteen churches to raise missionary awareness and funds for Lottie Moon, then how is that different from independent missionaries who have to raise their own support? Surely, support raising missionaries could raise support through contacts with churches that would keep them on the field for 4 years, especially with websites, email, and cheap phone communication available today.

Any answers to that question?

OC Hands said...

Alan,
I think there is a bit of misunderstanding about the Stateside assignment responsibilities. Missionaries on furlough (as it used to be called) have always had responsibilities to speak about missions in stateside churches, mission conferences as well as RA and GA camps. If the furlugh was for a year, then you would be required to participate in six mission conferences.
Those who are doing further study in a seminary, for example, would not be required to do as many camps or mission conferences, but still had an obligation to do "deputation." None of these involved 'raising money' but simply telling the story about how missions is being done in your own country and around the world. It wsa, and is I believe, a privilege that each of us has felt to be able to speak directly to church members who have provided prayer and financial support to express our appreciation for that, to share some personal stories of succes that demonstrate the effectiveness of their prayers, and to give them some specific items to pray for. In addition, we encourage them to become prayer partners in order to receive regular reports on answers to prayer as well as up-to-date prayer requests.
My wife and I have always loved deputation, and never looked on it as anything less than a wonderful opportunity to say thanks for the support from churches and church members. This is far different from having to raise your own support.
Also, I agree with Barjonah, missionaries are allowed vacation time each year. If permission is sought and given, some take trips outside their own country, as has been mentioned. The difficulty with some of us was that we felt such a responsibility for the work, that we hesitated taking all the vacation time we were allowed. But that was our choice.
Hope this helps your understanding.

Anonymous said...

Question was asked,"how many applicants have been rejected or don't apply." You answered that you do not know but assume it is well over 100. If that is true then I would ask which is running more the baptism or the ppl? I just cannot believe that many baptists are adhering to these non'baptist beliefs.

Alycelee said...

Anon-I'm confused about which statement you are referring to as 'non-baptist'
Excluding these people?
Or their practices?

Alycelee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Cleveland said...

Anonymous ... that's just it. These aren't "non-baptist beliefs". They may be what some baptists don't like, but that's no criteria.

Bryan riley said...

Alan, in response to your question:

Raising support is not a burden and does not have to take away from one's ministry. Raising support is a ministry. Raising support mobilizes many to missions. We have only been at this a short time and we already have another family following us into missions. We see our ministry back to our family and friends as just as strong as it is to the people to which God sends in other cultures. I think it is a bad argument when one praises the IMB for paying its missionaries because it keeps them from having the burden of raising support. I just don't see that as a burden. It is a ministry and simply multiplies the effect of the ministry with which God has blessed you.

heath lloyd said...

Wade: Thanks for the posts on the "goings on" of the IMB Trustee meeting. You mention about going from six to four meetings -- I'm always in favor of fewer meetings if the same work can be accomplished.
I was wondering -- how do the trustees go to here and yonder to these various meetings? Do they fly on the IMB's dime, or is it a personal expense? How are the arrangements taken care of? The lodging, the meals and so forth? How about spouses, are their expenses paid?
Just a Southern Baptist with an inquiring mind. Thank you, brother.

Bob Cleveland said...

Bryan: you make a pretty decent argument for simply dissolving the IMB. And the NAMB, come to think of it. And perhaps even the SBC.

to-obey-is-better said...

Is it me, or have we gone all over the world with these comments?
I'll join in :-).

In our decade with the IMB there have only been two years, maybe three, in which we took all 30 days of our vacation on the field.

To vacation, we really have to leave our country of service, and that's not cheap. Thirty days of vacation can grow quite expensive!

Regarding STAS, we love visiting and meeting people and sharing what God is doing. The hardship, I believe, comes from SB's not understanding what is and is not provided for m's on STAS.

We receive no funds to pay for our travel to speak (95%) of the time, so all gas costs are ours. (Do you know we qualify for free meals at school for our kids when we're in the States? Maybe this lets you see where we fall in the economic stratus.) So to go visit, on your own dime, and then to not be given gas money, can be quite difficult. I have heard said by churches, "we pay our missionaries a salary so we don't have to give them anything when they come to share." I think it would be good if SB's could be better educated about what m's do and don't receive on STAS.

All that do say, I AM VERY THANKFUL for what the IMB provides for us! We have many friends here who have struggled to make ends meet because supporters stopped giving. Thankfully, we don't have this worry.

imb m

Wade Burleson said...

Heath,

All expenses paid for trustees to attend meetings. Most fly. Some drive. Spouses can attend all expense paid trustee meeting once a year.

Wade Burleson said...

Alan,

Rick Thompson is right. Things move slow through the committee process of the IMB. I, too, encourage patience.

Wade Burleson said...

Leaving a.m. for Colorodo. Can't answer any more questions.

A 10-40 Window Missionary said...

Wade, and all,

Could it be that because there are 89 trustees that things move slowly? I know that this will never happen in my lifetime, but 89 trustees is probably 80 too many. No multimillion dollar business in existence has a board of anywhere near the number seen in SBC circles.

Anonymous said...

Dear Wade, This is my first time to comment. I would like to respond to the post of barjonah. I'm not sure where he served with the IMB but I don't think it was anywhere near where we serve. He is correct that IMB missionaries get 30 days vacation time a year. However, unless you arrive on the field "independently wealthy" or have a friend or family member who foots the bill, there is little chance any of us can afford to go away from our homes to enjoy this "vacation time." The cost of living supplement we all get is enough to enable us to buy the basics where we live and serve. Southern Baptists provide a lot of things for your IMB missionaries, and for that we are thankful, but funds enough for vacation is not one of them. Not a complaint, just a fact (esepcially those of us with kids). Mainly I don't want anyone to get the impression that your IMB missiories are able to "go away on vacation for 30 days a year," let alone one day. Taking days off or taking vacation time "off" at home is something we've learned to do to stay healthy. We appreciate the time allotted to do that and we would love to be able to really get away and relax but, truthfully, that's not possible for most of us.

God bless and I've enjoyed the blog,

imb missionary on my day off at home

bryan riley said...

Wouldn't it be fun if we all just followed Jesus, Bob? :)

Maranatha

TruthOfActs said...

Wade,
Here is a hard question and you probably don’t know the answer or anyone else. With all total income received by the SBC (C P, Lottie Moon, etc.), what percent is spent on missionaries (salaries, housing, travel, medical, etc.) and what percent is left over for the IMB, SBC, etc.?

Do you think it might turn out ‘Too many chiefs and not enough Indians’?
Rex Ray

Ann said...

We can say what we want and believe what we want this is a free country. With a very heavy heart I decided to post this after reading this and I quote" I have heard from a close pastor friend of Rick's, a man I highly respect, who said he is walking Rick and his wife through this ordeal. This pastor assures me that this alleged tryst in Houston with this woman is not true. However, he also told me that the truth, even without Houston, is bad enough.
After speaking with Donna she assumes this man is Pastor Rick White of The People's Church in Franklin, TN. He and Donna have had many many conversations where she produced evidence to him proving that without a doubt she was telling the truth. Staff, members of Champion Forest Baptist she Church she is telling the truth about meeting him on Dec 10 & 16. Yes the 16th We did not go back to hear him preach the second Sunday. I have been with Donna on several trips to meet and hear Rick and was with her on Dec 10th. The more he lies the more will come out as many of you know there are several other sites you can read about this man. Here's one I have learned a lot about Birmingham Blues » Blog Archive » Sounds Like Physical Indiscretion To Me. Some I agree with and others I don't. What I do believe is this is a man who is still living a lie and until he fully tells the truth to himself, God, and his family and friends I cannot begin to ask God to forgive him. My friend of 30 something years is being haunted by telling the truth. Something she could no longer live with. she prayed and ask God to lead her in the direction he would and she only has regrets that she has been, made to look as the one who is completely at fault. Once again remember she was 15, her sister was 11. Her Sister recalls Rick as beening the fist "guy" (man) to kiss her with his tongue. I remember the day Donna lost her innocence and how she spoke of Rick saying he was honored. Sorry I have to stop this is way to emotional. Please pray for my friend Donna and read these other postings and ask your self are ALL THESE PEOPLE LYING?