Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I am giving thanks this year for so much that, it will be hard to get it all on here. 

First I am thankful for a loving God who allows me through grace to be his kid.  I love my Pappa.

Second, my wife Jean, for being an amazing partner in life.  I don't want to do anything or go anywhere with out her with me.  She loves adventure and we have definitely have that going on.  Love you baby!

Thankful for:

  • Decatur, Alabama.  You are an inspiration to me on what a church can be to the broken and lost in a city.  I know God is opening the heavens over Decatur, and you are pouring out all so he can fill it up.  
  • IV and Bene' Marsh, Garrett, Josh and Ella.  There are no words to explain your love or express the gratitude for all you have done for Jean and I.  What started out as a desire to do some consulting work for you guys has turned into the dream that started back in Las Vegas.  Never thought we would serve in the Kingdom together and yet here we are.  IV, I know our hearts were knitted together for the sake of the Gospel and it is a honor to call you friend
  • Marlin and Elaine.  I am inspired by your steadfast love for Christ's bride.  Thank you for following the voice of God and making the way for us to come along side you in the work.  You both Rock!
  • Mark Thomason, you are my hero and don't even realize it yet.  Thanks for helping me stay sane and showing me true musicianship and professionalism.  We have only yet to see what sonic awesomeness is coming.  Stay focused on what is good in life and you will find the peace you are looking for.
  • Jeremy, Jane and Jackson Strawn.  I miss you guys terribly.  I cannot listen to DMB without thinking of you guys and all the support you brought.  You supported me through some tough stuff and I thank you guys.  I know we will see each other soon, but you need to get your butts to Decatur.
  • My Family in Michigan.  Can't wait to see you all tomorrow.  All that comes to mind is, Good Times!  I am glad I no longer live 3 days drive from you.  
  • Kenny, Jodi and Colton Gonz.  Bring on the "Gringos"!  I hope I make it through the holidays without you guys. all I can say.  Kenny, when you are ready, we have a place for you guys!  Love, Love, Love, is all we have for you three.
  • My two dogs, Joy and Muffin.  
  • Music
  • Justin, Amy, Tina, Kenny (and the 8 kids), Jason, Linda, Melody, Grant, Houston, Wes, Andrea R, Mike, Andrea H, Latrice, Doug, Charles, Barbara, Landon, Sam, Summer, and all the other Epic folks who have welcomed us with open arms.  I know I've forgot some, Terry, Tasha, Dallas, Keisha, Brilley...okay don't everyone else get butt hurt.  I still love you all.
  • My Crosspoint Peeps, Wendy, Jack, Kevin, Stacey, guys rock.  Love being a part of the Decatur God story with you all.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This week so far...

Only Tuesday and man I am deep into the business of getting things ready for Sunday morning.  I'll be traveling out of state this week for Thanksgiving so got to get everything set up in advance.  Maybe I should pretend that I am off Thursday-Saturday every week?  Hum, makes me wonder if my production value would go through the roof?  Well I'm videoing tomorrow over at the church we are supporting for Thanksgiving by cooking and helping serve meals.  I love that fact that we are able to partner with other churches who have bigger facilities to handle stuff like meals, and we give them volunteers.  Very Kingdom minded.  I think Jesus instructed us to love each other and that's how people will know we are His disciples.  Programing lights next and then EQing the monitors, followed by uploading a video to Vimeo and adding a link to our Epic video blog.  Yay!!  I also have two guitar students this afternoon and band rehearsal at 6:30.  Told ya, busy bee I am.
I everyone has a great time with family and friends this Thursday.  Share some love with those who are going through tough times too.  Peace.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Monday

Oh yes, how time flies when you are having fun.  Seems like a blur this past week.  A good blur, but a blur none the less.  Let me see if I can re-cap.

  • My Mom turned 68 this past week.  She is doing real well, and can't wait to spend Thanksgiving with her and my family this week.  Love you Mom!
  • Cooked a Turkey and made gravy for Jeans Thanksgiving party at work.  Turned out real well.
  • Spent a majority of the week watching and learning at
  • Edited a new video that shows the churches and ministries that partners with in Decatur.
  • Picked up another guitar student.  Grand total of 2 now.  Gotta start out small ya know.
  • My wife is killing it with the production team.  They are making weekend services jam!
  • Tackled some tough songs this week.  "If Everyone Cared", "Broken" were some awesome radio hits that we did.  Mark Thomason on keys really took us to a new level.  Everyone in the band is growing and getting better each week.
  • I still think church musicians have the toughest jobs.  Learning different songs each week is challenging for sure.  Glad to have some great people on the team.
  • Leaders are not the most popular people sometime, especially when they have to make a tough decisions.  
  • Got to watch the Lawrence County Pee Wee football team play in the championship game Saturday night.  The got beat pretty bad.  But it was the championship game.
  • Unveiled our "Decatur Dave and Decatur Danielle" profiles at the Dream Team meeting yesterday.  Very aggressive move I would say.  My favorite quote from IV, "We will do anything short of sinning to reach people."
  • Actually watched an Alabama football game on Saturday.  Well, it kinda played in the background while we worked on vocals for Sunday.  
  • Did a tattoo on Friday night.  Love pushing ink.
  • Enjoyed some wonderful quality time with my wife Saturday morning.  Advice to husbands, DATE YOUR WIFE!!
Peace out!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Good times

So yesterday I cooked my first turkey of the season.  Yes me.  Jean works for a company called Drs4Drs, and they had their pot luck thanksgiving lunch yesterday.  So, Jean informs me that I am on turkey duty.
Actually, I love to cook turkey.  I want to get a deep fryer one day and fry one.  Maybe Christmas.  Anyway, I did what Grandma used to do, I got a turkey bag!  I love those things.  Cover Turkey with olive oil (the real stuff not Popeye's girl), flour the inside of the bag, put in the oven and bang zoom...turkey awesomeness.  Now the real trick is the gravy.  I like to use all the juices from the turkey plus the giblets.  This part is scary for me though, thickening the gravy.  Now Jean trusts me with the turkey, but here words to me as I dropped here of at work stuck to me like a sweaty t-shirt on a hot Alabama day.  "Don't make the gravy runny!"  I was paralyzed with fear.  I was confident until those words were spoken.  So the whole time I'm prepping the gravy, all I could think about was getting it thick enough.  So with a mixture of flour and water ( I mix the flour up with some cold water so when I add it to the hot broth I don't get lumps), I started the thickening process.  Of course I wasn't sure how much I would need, so I made a bunch.  Two cups of my flour/water mixture and still not thick enough.  So one more shot, except I added more flour than water.  So you know what happens next.  Lumps in my gravy!! Aaarrrggggh.  If only there was no pressure to have thick gravy! Only kidding.
Jean didn't like it though.  She was ruined by Angela Neal, our good friend from Kentucky, who makes awesome gravy.  Everyone else in the office loved it, or at least told me they did.  I think I got props only because I was a man making turkey and gravy.  I'll that that.  I did get to enjoy the pot luck too. 
Good Times...

I still need to get a grill so I can make my own BBQ... Peace.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Big God

Wow, I thought I posted this on Friday!  Maybe I was so upset, I forgot to hit send?  Here it is from Friday morning at Starbucks.

I am reading "Starting HD Chuches" by Ron Sylvia, and God just decided to speak to me.  I am really toast right now.  Tears are flowing from my eyes.  I had to stop to write down what I am feeling.  I was reading Chapter 4 and on pages 46-47, Ron is telling a story of needing finances to keep the church going.  Needed $18000.00 for the year to keep going.  So he has a special offering and explained the situation to the people.  Took the offering and brought in $50000.00!!  When I read that God sort of whispered to me "Why don't you believe I can do miracles like that?"  And so here I am weeping because He is right.  Somewhere along the way, I stopped believing He can do anything!  IV just walked in and I'm sitting here in a mess of tears...he is puzzled for sure.  We are shooting a video today, so I'll give him the 411 in a minute.  I just want to get back to the way I used to believe in God.  Powerful, able and wanting to do miracles for His children.  Now time to ask Daddy for forgiveness for my lack of faith.

Monday on Tuesday

Wow, the holy hangover was kicking yesterday.  We had our creative team meeting as well.  Thank God for coffee and diet Mt. Dew.  Here is the download or scoop if you will.

  • Over 400 at Epic yesterday.  The third service is really rockin'.  There is something to be said about sleeping in Sunday morning, then coming to church to get your praise on.  I want to call the 12:30 service "The Brick" service, since people who were out at The Brick on Saturday, can still come!
  • The band, did Money by Pink Floyd and did a really great job.  If you are not a musician, you wouldn't understand how challenging that song is.
  • We had our first Jam session Sunday at Epic.  It was amazing.  Our keyboard player Mark, is the most amazing keys/piano player I have had the chance to work with.
  • Jean made here first batch of was amazing!!  She got the recipe from Benny Perrin who owns BB Perrin's here in Decatur.  Thanks Benny!
  • Got messed up by the book "Starting High Definition Churches" by Ron Sylvia.  Really made me realize I don't trust God.  Almost afraid to pick it up again.
  • Great hang time with IV Marsh and Justin Potter on Thursday.  It's great when leaders can get together and sharpen each other.  
  • Shot a Video with IV on Friday about all the things are involved in.  Funny thing, we never set foot in our building.
  • If you haven't been to the NCC on Bank St here in Decatur, you need to stop in and see how they do ministry to the poor.  
  • Love the new direction with the music at Epic.
  • Got to tour Athens, AL with IV and Bene.  
  • Ate at Dub's Burgers in Athens.  I'm told it's been around since after the great flood.  Moses loved the place....I did too!
  • Trying to get into college football here.  Never really been into sports that I am not currently playing in, so it is a challenge.  But Auburn needs to stop giving the games away!  
  • Got to admit Alabama is tearing it up this year.  
  • Our Tech team is setting new standards in creativity...Love you guys!!
  • Starbucks is the greatest office you could ever have.  I love it.
  • Got to hang with Kevin Burns from Crosspoint Community this week.  Love hearing God stories about other churches.  
I know that is not all, but it is a lot.  Overall it was a great week filled with God, friends, and music.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Leadership stuff...

After dropping Jean off at work this morning, I made my way to my Starbucks office again for some meetings.  On the way I was thinking about all the technology at my fingertips.  Literally at my fingertips.  That thought morphed in to the information available at those same end of digits.  Then I thought, "I have no excuse not to be a great leader, because I have access to some of the greatest leaders of our day, right on my phone!"  So just saying that if we are leading people, we have no excuse to suck at it.  I may blow it from time to time, but it is not because the skill or technique or truth is not out there for me to grab a hold of.  Just a thought, so get out there on Twitter, the blog-o-sphere, Facebook, Podcasts and the whole other host of resources, and lead!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Starbucks Observation

Okay, I am sitting at the Starbucks store in Decatur, AL.  I am studying Jesus, trends in technology, blogging, reading and enjoy the people.  As I watched people come in and place orders, I had this thought; People come to Starbucks because they want a great coffee beverage, not to be convinced that coffee beverages are great.  The customer comes in and is asked what they would like and the customer orders.  Now a fist time customer will look at the menu, and maybe inquire about a certain beverage, but they know why Starbucks is there.  They don't expect a pizza from Starbucks.

So then I thought about churches.  And I could totally be off here, but if someone comes to your church, don't they expect to here about God, and maybe even Jesus?  Did someone already invite them?  Did someone already tell them about Jesus?  Did they hear the audible voice of God say "get to church"?
When someone comes to Starbucks, the Barista doesn't explain the way the coffee beans are grown and processed to become the awesome beverage you are enjoying.  No, they make it and you enjoy.  In church we need to present Christ and let people enjoy him.  How to present Christ?
  • Be yourself and reflect his love to everyone who walks through the door.  Everyone!!  If by being yourself you are judgemental and unhappy about life, you may need to do some self evaluation.  Ask someone that will tell you the truth, not someone who surgarcoats it. 
  • If  you are a teaching Pastor, teach a practical life lesson, something anyone can start applying to their everyday journey.
  • You must believe in the product, or in the case of the church, the message of Christ.  If you really don't think Christ can change lives, well, you might want to talk to him about that.  
  • Celebrate change.  When Starbucks announced the new instant coffee, I didn't hear one employee at my, yes my, store complain about it.  In fact they were giving out free samples.
  • I call the Starbucks I go to "my store", because it is where I spend my money and time.  Let people know that you support "your church".  I don't bash other Starbucks stores, there is only one other in Decatur at Target, but I celebrate the whole Starbucks experience. We should celebrate the Kingdom of God the same way.  You may have your favorite place to worship, but don't bash the church down the street.
So I hope I was able to translate what was going on in my mind to "paper".  I started blogging to do just that.  If you have any comments or additions please share.  

Are we too focused??

At, we have our creative meetings on Mondays.  We begin my debriefing Sunday service.  We "walk through" the service beginning with the parking lot and end with the dismissal of the last service.  With three services, it is a lot to download and digest.  The funny thing about it is, we all have a different perspective on the service.  And what I've found out is that the closer the area of ministry is to your heart, the more you notice what went wrong.  I'll try to explain better. 

I really thought we struggled with a few songs on Sunday.  We don't do 3 chord 4/4 songs to just get by.  I throw challenging stuff at our band.  But, learning a new popular song each week is a daunting task for any band.  But I knew where we missed vocal cues, missed a transition to a chorus, played the wrong chord, etc.  The rest of the creative team and staff thought it was off the chain.  I was perplexed to say the least.  But again I know what was missing and they were enjoying the energy and vibe that was coming from the stage.  And they were worshiping Jesus. 

Now, when we discussed the greeters, I thought they were awesome and friendly.  The kind of people who make you feel welcome when you go to a know place.  But, there were missteps and cancellations, and some challenges had to be overcome.  Same thing in the parking lot and kids. 
I didn't notice because, it's not my area of passion.  I am focused on the worship band and tech crew.  I spend my waking, and sometimes sleeping, hours fixed on what Sunday will look and sound like. 

So in light of this new although simple revelation, I am gonna really enjoy Sunday morning and not get too, focused on things that don't happen the way I think it should.  I'm gonna step back a little and see the forest.

I love our team!!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Monday

Time for the weekly data dump.  Second week of the "Jack" series. 
  • We had 9 people get saved during a series on Money!!  Just goes to show you how powerful the message of the Gospel is.
  • IV preached up a nice little storm for us.  Man it was awesome. 
  • The Louis CK clip from Conan was a big hit.  Makes you think for sure.
  • Did another tattoo this week.  Lots of fun, but scary because it was on a friend of mines daughter.  She is 21, but still, I was nervous.
  • Keyboard player Mark Thomason joined the Epic band this week.  What an amazing player.
  • Did Madonna's "Material Girl" for the opener Yesterday.  April tore it up.  Fun song.
  • Took Jean with me to help out at Crosspoint, we had a blast helping out those guys
  • Went golfing in Alabama for the first time.  Enjoyed the company, did not enjoy my crappy swing. You can't go 3 months without hitting the ball and expect to have a great round.  
  • Our whole leadership team is on Twitter now.  Very cool to see us embrace technology. 
  • We were given a new dog this week.  We are still trying to decide a name for her.  She is doing real good and Joy is loving having her around.
  • Joined the Dream Center for adopt-a-block on Satuday.  Me a guy named "Skimp" who lost his son to drug overdose in October.  We are gonna hang out more for sure.
  • Got caught up on "The Office" and "Grey's Anatomy" this week.  I love  Gonna watch "V" next.  I remember the first one.  I was a little young still, so I don't remember the graphics being too cheesy. I just remember on of the nice "V's" was played by the same guy that played Freddie Krugar in the Nightmare movies.
  • Had a tragic loss in Las Vegas this past week.  DJ, who was a solid christ follower, was killed in a motorcycle accident last Tuesday.  He was 21.  He had a band called Cross Out These Eyes.  His memorial was yesterday.  Over 500 people attended.  Gonna miss him for sure.  
Remember to love each other. Especially those who don't like you.

Friday, November 6, 2009


It's been a very productive week.  I am doing some video work today with FCP and Motion.  I am loving those programs.  I think I can get real good with 3d graphics if I keep putting in the hours.  It is so fun learning new stuff.  I think that is the key to staying young and keeping your mind healthy.  So not much today other than that.  I don't think I really have anything of super importance to share.  Just loving technology today.  Peace.

And more Tattoos

Here are the pictures of my use of color and shading.  I used a no 3 liner and 9 round shader for each of these.  The little butterfly to the lower left of the big one, I did at the same time as the big one. My customers were very happy with the work.  I was too.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Monday

Lot's going on, but just gonna talk about Sunday at
  •  4 conversions and 8 re-commitments!!
  • We launched the "Jack" series.  Already messing people up.  It's amazing how people respond to money series when you just tell it like it is.  
  • Our band went to a whole new level yesterday!  The energy was crazy.  It was loud, and raucous and full of excitement. 
  • The tech team was spot on with lighting cues, video and sound.
  • Showed and amazing video of our Epic yard sale.  We gave away so much stuff.  I cried everytime I watched it.  And I'm the one who shoot and edited it!! 
  • In case you missed it- 4 conversions and 8 re-commitments.
  • Great snacks in the green room.  We have some people who make sure we stay fueled up.  Of course I'm like a tanker so to speak.
  • Our 20 year old drummer thinks I'm on some kind of "look younger" diet or supplement.  He can't believe I'm as old as I am.  I told him I was only 12 years old in God's kingdom.
  • I get to work with one of the best leadership teams around!  Truly committed to reaching the lost, hurt and broken.  A bunch of little Jesus' they are!!
  • I love our smoke machine!!!
  • Pastor Kenny is creating a Kid frenzy over in the Journey building!  In 10 years, there is gonna be some 15 year old freaks for Jesus in the youth group.