Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tattoo you? Tattoo me...

Okay I finally got up enough nerve to finish my Koi tattoo on myself.  It was my second tattoo ever, and I was a little timid about coloring it in.  So this afternoon, I sat down and started pushing ink.  I am really happy with the outcome.  I tried many different technique to find which shading effects worked and didn't.  This is why you practice on yourself, you can experiment.  Total time invested about 4 hours.  I used a no 5 liner and a 7mag shader.


A penny saved...

My brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Melissa, have been on this incredible journey over the past year.  They have been living off the land so to speak, on their farm in Michigan.  You can follow their blog here at True North Found.  Anyway, the goal is to cut spending by using the natural resources that are abundant on our property in Mi.  Our family shares 120 acres of land, of which my brother has a house on the west 40.  The started small, just turning off lights and unplugging things from the outlets when not in use.  Now they have a garden, pigs, clothes lines, and a wood burning stove.  The have literally cut their expenses in half if not more.  My brother has coined this phrase, "Every dollar I don't spend, is one I don't have to earn."  Basically he decided not to have to work 50-60hrs a week away from home, but now works 50-60 hours around the farm.  Anyway, you can check out his blog and get more info.

Jean and I are always looking for way to cut cost.  And I have my brother to thank for keeping us inspired and giving us valuable information.  I think more people can do this if they want to.  Jean and I were shutting off lights, unplugging things, keeping the heat at 64 degrees etc.  But we still would have lights on at night while reading or watching TV.  So I thought about oil lamps.  Ya know the kind with the glass globes on top and the really wide wicks.  So we inquired of my brother and he said, "Candles".   Candles are a lot cheaper and would last longer than the oil lamps.  So we went looking for those tall candles that come in the glass containers.  We call them "holy santos" candles cause they look like you would see them in a Catholic church.  We actually had to go to a hispanic grocery store to find them, but we did and they work great.  We started out with 8, and at $1.80 a piece it was very inexpensive.  The store we went to was on the northwest corner of Central and 14th st here in Decatur.
Now you can use the expensive ones if you want, totally up to you, but we wanted to go as cheep a possible.  So now we will wait for next months electric bill to see if our usage has dropped.  Oh we also decided to remove the extra bulbs from the ceiling fans and bathroom mirrors.  We ended up removing 6 light bulbs total.  6 light bulbs not using up power. 

I hope this helps anyone who is trying to cut expenses and save money.  Also GET ON A BUDGET!  You will be surprised at where you are leaking money.  If you have any tips for us, please comment. Peace and blessings.

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Monday again??

Wow, what a great week.  So much happening that is is keeping me busy for sure.  Loving the weather, even the rain.  It's really been kinda crazy, but the sun has been out this last week and it is wonderful.  The leaves are just beginning to turn colors, something I haven't seen in a long time.  Anyway I know this week is going to be full of blessings and challenges so time for the reflective last week data dump.
  • creative team meeting at Panera bread, not really all that impressed.  Good meeting though.
  • Traded some unused gear for some much needed stuff at Epic.  We have a fog machine now and drum mics...woooo whoooo.
  • Met a guy named Guitar Bob.  He has the craziest guitar shop I have ever been in.  I should have took pictures, but that wouldn't have explained it.  You just gotta go and see for yourself.
  • Gave my second guitar lesson on Tuesday.  It's good to be teaching again. 
  • Went to support our fellow Epicans at a softball game Tuesday night.  We have some people who can hit the ball.  We walked from our house to the ball fields.  It was cool.
  • Shot the teaser video for our next series "Jack".  Kenny and Jean were awesome.  We got a bunch of laughs.  I will post it online later.
  • Learning lots about leadership from God.  This is a good thing, cause' man sometimes gets it wrong.  It's good to get direct teaching from Daddy.
  • Working my way through "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan.  Great time of study and reflection.  I highly recommend reading it.  Borrow a copy if you can't afford one.  First 3 chapters are familiar stuff, but starting in Chapter 4,  it gets real good.
  • Went to watch Garrett Marsh play in his second Varsity football game.  He is only in the 8th grade.  Can you say "Talent".  He even got about 5 minutes of playing time in the homecoming game.
  • Woke up early Saturday for our Epic Yard Sale.  It was awesome to see so many people get blessed, both those that served and those who got served.  It was cool to see peoples faces when we told them it was free!  Got lots of great testimonies from people who really needed stuff.
  • Hung out at Bridgestreet in Huntsville after visiting Guitar Bob.  It's a lot like The District @ Green Valley Ranch.  Good times with Jean!
  • 3 killer services at yesterday.  This is why I am vegging today.  The holy hangover is kickin' hard today.  Totally worth it though, we had some people get changed by Jesus yesterday.  Lot's of emotional wounds getting healed. 
  • The band was rockin' yesterday too.  Thanks guys for your commitment.
  • It is great having a building.  I was able to program lights for each song.  Very cool not to be up against a time crunch. 
Have a good week...

Friday, October 23, 2009


My daily devotion has had me reading in 2 Chronicles this past week or so.  I really get a kick out of chapter 7.  My charismatic discipleship early on gets real excited about the first 3 verses.  God's glory filling the temple, fire from heaven, people falling on their faces in awe.  I love that stuff.  But it is in verse 4 that the really good stuff happens.  Ya know the stuff that you go "wow, that would have been awesome!".  I'm kidding of course.  Let me share verses 4 and 5 with you.

4 Then the king and all the people offered sacrifice before the Lord.
5 King Solomon offered as a sacrifice 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep.  So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.

That is a lot of animals going to the slaughter!  If PETA was around there would have been problems for sure.  Anyway, this passage has some real significance for anyone who is in ministry or feels called to the ministry.  Can you imagine having to slaughter all those animals?  The blood, guts and goo?  Your nice white robes and tassels all soaked on blood and entrails.  I think I might be sick by ox number 10,000 or so.

The point is, we love to see God pour out His glory in ways that remind us of how awesome and magnificent He is, but we forget the sacrifices and day to day offerings we are to be to Him.  Romans 12 anyone?  But serving Him becomes gooey, bloody, messing and sometimes just plain boring.  Come on be real, doesn't is get old sometimes?  I mean you are on sheep number 200, and you have 119,800 to go!  Any all you hear is more bleating of these 119,800.

Now of course, I am not talking about a very important part here.  Teamwork.  I know it wasn't only one priest doing all the work.  I bet is was every priest and every Levite in the the kingdom!  And if you read on to to verse 6, there was a band playing!  Yes, music to serve the Lord by.  In addition, the priest were excited about serving God.  Also, they did just see the God of all creation, rain fire and smoke down on the temple.  And it wasn't cause someone left the smoke machine running back stage!

Anyway, I love the encouragement I get from know that serving God is not all clean and neat.  It gets messy.  It gets loud, and dirty.  But you get to see God too.  I hope everyone gets to see God today...
happy serving my fellow Levites!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Planning Center Does It Again!!

Now you can get your Planning Center updates via Facebook.  Check it out here..
Adding Planning Center Online to Facebook is Twitter!

I want to go Deeper

There is a song that I learned early on in my journey with Jesus by a band named Delirious?.  The lyrics of the first line go "I wanna go deeper, but I don't know how to swim...".  I have thought about this subject over the last few weeks and decided to write about it.  Gonna be simple cause that is how I am.

The first step in going deeper, and I mean in the things of God, is learning how to swim.  If you don't have the basic fundamentals of swimming, you will drown.  Even exploring the deep things of God.  How many times have you met someone who just crossed the line of faith and they are confused because some more advanced believer started talking to them about the millennial reign of Christ, or the end times?  Or my personal favorite, the Nephilim. All great things to know, but can really overwhelm someone who is trying to stop looking at porn, get over a lifetime of addiction, or just wants to take the nest step on the journey.

I remember Navy dive school very clearly.  They didn't just stick us out on a dive boat and throw us in after we learned what the acronym SCUBA meant.  They didn't even let us put on gear until they knew we could float on our own (with your hands and feet tied).  Then when you got to put on your gear, you practiced in a pool with a bunch of instructors watching you to see if you were doing okay.  Then every once in a while, an instructor would dive from the surface an put you and your buddy into a "situation" to see how you would react. I am using the term "situation" very loosely here.  I never made it to the pool week due to asthma.  See they have to make sure you are ready.

So ya, I want to go deeper, but can I teach people how to swim first?  Can I swim myself?  Do I get so deep that I never come up?  I love that Jesus, who definitely was deep, keep it simple and on the surface for us.  I think each person should decide for themselves what deeper is, and then go there.  If you want to study Tozer, go for it.  I wouldn't spring that stuff on your small group of new believers.  It's a challenge to just get your head around John 1.

Thoughts and comments very welcomed....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Passion pt 2

Had a great all staff meeting on Monday night at the home of Marlin and Elaine Gill. After discussing mission, vision and goals, we all gathered around Kenny Thomas prayed and licensed him as a Minister of the Gospel. Kenny was blown away. The leadership team had been watching him and grooming him, and he didn't even know it. Kenny just started revamping the kids environment at Epic and never has looked back. So we laid hands on him and prayed for his anointing to increase and it was awesome. It reminded me not to overlook the little things, because God uses the simple things to confound the wise. Kenny is passionate about God, and about kids knowing about God and His son Jesus. I will call him Pastor Kenny, he still can't believe it. I think it's awesome.

After that, we had some cake and coffee and talked at length about the road has been on. Marlin and Elaine shared about God calling them to start a church back in 94-95 (Marlin kept reminding God that he was a Doctor not a Pastor). They shared the ups and downs, the joys and the sorrows. Through it all I thought "these guys are sold out to Jesus on a level that is hard to fully understand". The reason for my reaction to their story was, they grew up in church and then did something crazy, they went against the norm and totally pursued the calling God gave them. Amidst all kind of obstacles and roadblocks, they are here today, still excited about God, still passionate about serving Jesus, and still pumped up for the vision called Epicchurch.

Then I looked across the table to Justin and Amy Potter, our Youth directors at Epic. I wanted to know their story. I wanted to know because, Justin just spent 10 or so hours of his off time from work, to help me with lighting in the auditorium. In addition to the time he and Amy put into preparing for Revolution on Wednesday nights. I thought surely he grew up in church and thought that serving was the "right thing to do",out of obligation to the system, not out of passion for the Savior. Not that all people who grew up in church are that way, I'm just stating my observations. Obviously the Gill's are not those type and they grew up in church. It is my blog, and my opinion...nanny nanny boo boo. Back to Justin. I found out he never even stepped foot in a church growing up. Not even like me, the Catholic boy, who at least heard about Jesus.
But yet he encountered the grace of God, and the love of Christ, and you can't slow him down.

So it is the Kenny Thomas', Justin Potters, IV Marsh's, Jack Alford's and Moviepastors, Elaine Gills and countless others that pour out passion in all things Kingdom of God. Passion and a desire to see lives changed by the Gospel of Christ. I love being around people like these. But I really love to be around people who don't know, or want to know Jesus more. So enough typing and off to the streets of Decatur.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday downloads...

Ah yes, another week in the Kingdom. Lots of great stuff happened to me and to others. I hope you are being blessed, and more importantly, recognizing how you are being blessed. Here is the download.

  • Creative team meeting was off the hook. We meet on Mondays, and man did we get some Holy Ghost led work done. Excited about the next series "Jack".
  • Got to use Final Cut Pro for the first time. Yessss.
  • Made a 3D motion bumper for our video this week. My first.
  • Added 4 new lights to the Epic lighting rig, and man what a difference that made. Need 10 more.
  • Made the stage look bigger by creatively placing some Muslin sails and lighting them.
  • Carved our pumpkins and put them on the front porch. They won't shrivel up and die on us in a day out here in Alabama.
  • The Rain Stopped on Saturday!!!
  • Made a trip to Gulf Shores, AL with IV and Joshua on Friday.
  • Attended the wedding of Gary Wood and Jill Ferguson on Friday. It was on the beach, cold, but very nice wedding.
  • Returned to Decatur on Friday night after the wedding...that was a long drive.
  • Laughed so hard riding with IV and Josh while listening to a song called "Sic'em on a chicken" by Zak Brown Band.
  • I love serving with my friend IV. We definitely were meant to be in ministry together.
  • The Epic band is just a blessing. I am enjoying playing with them every week.
  • Justin Potter is the man...couldn't have pulled of the lighting with out him. IV and Justin were major help with the sails too.
  • Jean watched here first Friday Night Lights football game. She even got up and danced while the marching band played.
  • Had my first guitar student this week. I love teaching. Thanks Drew. Miss my students in Vegas too.
  • I am enjoying setting up at Crosspoint Community Church on Sunday mornings. I'm gonna have to blog on this one later.
  • Auburn keeps giving away W's. What is up with that?
  • I love the buzz about changing the service order. Good and bad, the last seven words of a dying organization are "We never did it that way before".
Good stuff for sure...

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Awhile back I was contemplating the difference between the "sold out" for Jesus person and the "regular church attender". Both believe in Jesus. Both have acknowledged his Lordship in their lives. However, one is consumed with a passion for Christ that is evident in every facet of life. It goes beyond attending each Sunday. Don't get me wrong, attending each week is an awesome part of being a Christ follower. But for "sold out" Jesus person, attending church is as natural as breathing. It is consistent, sustaining, and live giving.

Regular Church Attender, RCA, has a heart of gold and may even give consistently, but there is a time when they are confronted with a deeper level of commitment to the body, that forces them to stop in there tracks so to speak. That crossroads is, serving in the church. Sold Out, SO, person is serving from day one. Get saved, wants to start doing something for God right out of the gate. And yes we all know someone who does it for the wrong motives. Time weeds those people out. I remember sitting in silence after accepting God free gift of salvation and thinking "how can I ever repay him for what he has done for me?". In fact I can't, but because he is my King, I will be a loyal subject in his Kingdom and do whatever he asks of me. And believe me, he has asked me to do some very challenging things in my time as his disciple. My point is, I never thought about not serving in the church. I made a big mistake early on in my journey and being on the worship team, I was asked to sit out while everything was worked out. It was, but in the mean time, it was killing me not to do something. So, I volunteered for everything that I could to from picking up trash to wiring mic cable. I even ran the monitor board in the new building. Which by the way was in the back and no one even knew you were there. Once my situation was resolved, I was back on the team. But I learned a lot about serving. I learned, it didn't matter how high profile the position was, or how behind the scenes it was, I loved to serve the church. By the way, it was not a moral failure as to why I asked to sit out. To long of a story to put on this page. By me a coffee one day and I'll tell you.

Fast forward 10 years. I still have that drive and determination. It has ebbed at times, but only because I was introduced to some different philosophies about serving in ministry. As with everything, there is a season. I have been a part of 2 church plants, and am now serving with one that is 2 years old. And SO person is the reason they are successful and survive. Even thrive for that matter. The more SO people the greater the movement will be.

SO person wants to mow the lawn, direct traffic, vacuum, hang lights, run sound, play music, teach a life group, and all at the same time if they could. So, how do you get RCA, to become SO? Is SO person just bent that way naturally? Maybe we, the leadership, needs to become creative in way to get RCA involved in a way that is meaningful to them. Maybe, SO has some RCA friends and doesn't know how to get them involved? Again I am just pondering these things. I think of this passage when ever I get thinking about this.

Luke 7:47 (English Standard Version)

47Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little."

Don't really know the answer, I just know I can see a difference. I love RCA's and SO's equally and don't pass judgment. I have seen some SO's blow out cause they get going so fast they forget to pause and "Bam" they are out. More on this later. I'm going to search my own heart and make sure I am doing all that God wants of me. Later...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tattoo you?

I've really not tried to hard to find people to tattoo on. Once the word gets out people kinda find you. Don't really know if this is going to be more than a hobby for me. Like painting, I don't really feel I will make this my source of income. I still love the media and people love to be tattooed. Here are the latest tattoos I've done.

Monday Monday

We have had a jammin' week at On Wednesday we packed all people from all three Epic services into the Princess theatre in downtown Decatur for an awesome time of worship and prayer. The freedom to just let go and worship with out being on a time schedule was amazing. Definitely a defining moment in the history of But tons more...
  • Shot some video with IV out in Limestone county.
  • Went looking for a new mattress on Saturday
  • Jean and I purchased our very first new mattress.
  • Convergence on Wednesday...huge success. 291 Epicans showed up.
  • The Epic band is finally jelling together and rocking.
  • Did a tattoo last night on a willing subject. Turned out real good.
  • 3 awesome services yesterday...very cool stage props. What seat are you in?
  • Watched some JV football Monday night
  • May have meet my new golf partner finally. I guess people don't golf here as much as hunt and fish.
  • Went to a pumkin patch and got some pumkins and some apple cider.
  • found my favorite store ever in Athens. Can't wait to spend some money in there.

That's about it for now.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggity jig!

I should be back to normal with all my online stuff now that we are moved into a house. We finally moved from the RV parked outside of IV and Bene's home in Moulton. It was kinda cool living in the RV, but it gets old after 3 weeks, especially when you are not traveling anywhere.

The new place is a nice 2bed 2bath townhouse located on the southwest side of Decatur. We are within waking distance to a very nice park, Walmart, Starbucks, etc. We are about a mile from Jean's office too. We had someone give us a table with chairs and a nice couch that actually matches our carpet. Thank you Jeremy and Tina Reeves. Joy is pretty happy with everything. I think for a dog, she has adjusted well to all the moving around and having to share with other dogs. She actually got in a fight with one of IV's dogs and got a little beat up. I had to move in to save her. I guess she thought she could take on a big dog and play like her and I play. The other dog took it serious.

All in all we are adjusting well. I am having trouble getting used to not having IT stuff as readily available as in a bigger city. It seems you really have to be in town to get cell service and internet. Of course this won't be a problem now that we live in town.

Big shouts out to the Marsh family. They have loved and supported us through every step of our transition to Epic. They loved us as they love themselves, and it was a huge blessing that Jean and I will never forget. Real people for sure. I love that I get to serve the Kingdom with IV again. could not have picked a better person and family to lead them.

I'll wrap this up with a little scripture that keeps me on the journey more that any other. Matthew 6:33 "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Over and over again God chooses to provide for us no matter what. Even though this passage sounds like a conditional statement it is not. In context, if we seek first to be like God and serve him, you won't worry about what is going on in your world. You will only see the blessings that God is giving you. You will see His provision in your life. Jean and I are living testimonies to this. See ya on the journey...