free flying soul

"this world has nothing for me and this world has everything...all that I could want and nothing that I need"

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Location: Macclesfield, North Carolina, United States

Born: 1970; Graduated High School: 1988; Married: 1991; Children: 1996, 2000, 2005; Graduated College: 2008; Figured Out This Faith Thing: In Progress

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Greatest Television Finale Ever

There has been a lot of talk the past week concerning the finale of LOST and Simon Cowell's last episode of American Idol...and that got me thinking. Which show do I think had the greatest finale of all time? So many times...a great show fails to end on a great note. Cheers was an excellent show and the writers tried to end it with a bang...but they did not quite get it. Some Seinfeld...ended horribly. I have heard many LOST fans already complain about the end so I had to ask...who did get it right? M*A*S*H* immediately came to mind and it was a good one...but after much consideration I am going to have to go with this one. In my was one of the best written endings to a television show...ever.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

R.I.P. Dennis Hopper

It seems like they come in spurts. The story is linked in the title.

Friday, May 28, 2010

R.I.P. Gary Coleman

It seems that celebrities die in groups. First Dio, then one of the Slipknot guys, then Ark Linkletter...and now Gary Coleman.

Coleman was 42...two years older than me. I remember watching him on Diff'rent Strokes when I was a kid. He was two years older than me and playing a kid two years younger. Apparently...he had a tough time as an adult. I remember seeing him crack up on one of those VH-1 "reality" shows a few years ago. Perhaps he is at peace now.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sammy Hagar

I remember reading an interview with Eddie Van Halen back in 1997 where he said Sammy Hagar "parted ways" with Van Halen due to his (Sammy) lack of a work ethic. Apparently...Sammy didn't want to record and tour the way that Van Halen was supposed to.

Ain't it funny that since 1996, Sammy has released six studio albums AND recorded an album with Chickenfoot. He tours constantly (including one brief "reunion" with Van Halen in 2004). He also has a couple of live albums/DVDs floating around out there and has done guest spots on lots of people's albums.

Van Halen has put out one full album (VH III with Gary Cherone) and recorded five new tracks for two separate "best of" albums. Two of those were with David Lee Roth and three were with Sammy.

My question is...who has the best work ethic?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Memory Lane.

I have been listening to a lot of the music that came out in the early 1990s. I married my wonderful wife in 1991 and the music from 1989-1994 reminds me of those days. This particular song especially brings back memories of driving around with her and talking. That is slightly amusing because the album came out in 1996, the year our first son was born. I do not know why...but it feels like that song belongs in 1990 and 1991. Weird...I know.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Innocence Project

I watched a documentary on this organization this past weekend. I must say that they have my support. I have always been open to the suggestion that our justice system was flawed but seeing some of the real people involved in these false prosecutions got to me. I guess it has been growing inside of me ever since I was falsely ticketed for not wearing a seatbelt a few years ago. I realize that does not compare the stories of people jailed for rape and murder...but it made me realize that if the system decides you are are guilty no matter what evidence that have. I sat there (with my seatbelt on) while the officer smiled and said, "You didn't have it on when I saw you." The county D.A. smiled and told me, "Well, you've probably driven without one now you're even." I realize that it was a relatively minor thing...but it was the principle. I was guilty (even though I was not) simply because they said so.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday Morning Coming Down

I am sitting here in the fellowship hall skipping Sunday School. I do not typically do this but to be honest...I was uncomfortable (not because of the lesson) and needed to get up and get some air. I did not want to interrupt the class after it had begun so I just stayed here.

I am not the only one doing this. There are several people who sit here and do the same thing every week. I often wonder why they bother showing up at the building so early if they are just going to cut class. Perhaps they are showing up late and do not want to interrupt...I can definitely relate.

I made a comment on Facebook earlier this morning. I suggested that our Sunday morning "thing" does not really look like the church I see in the Bible. It does not look like the "movement" that Jesus started. I am not complaining...just observing. I am not offering any solutions either...I do not know that I have any.

I do know that I have been feeling more and more disconnected from the whole Sunday morning Christian thing that I have been doing my entire life. You can dress it down in jeans and rock the music up...but it still seems like the same tired thing. I have even been playing bass in our "contemporary" praise band...but it still do not know the word I am searching for. Dead...maybe.

I do not like it. I am trying to figure out where that leaves me.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My New Project

I do not recall mentioning that I am a frustrated guitar player. I do not use the term guitarist because I believe that it would make people think that I can actually play. I know enough to play in church and to satisfy my personal musical that is good enough for me.

I do own a very nice acoustic/electric that was given to me by some college students from Indiana University. I was in Mississippi working as a church planter and they discovered that my Fender acoustic/electric has been destroyed. They went home and bought me a Taylor 414 that is much nicer than I deserve. I love playing it. It is/was my dream acoustic guitar.

I have a couple of cheap ($200) electric guitars at home. One is a Squier Telecaster that splits time between my son and I. The other is an Epiphone Coronet that looks great but will not stay in tune. I have never owned a high dollar electric guitar. The closest I came was an Epiphone Les Paul Custom but it was still well under $1000. The point is that I do not mind cheap guitars. With the exception of my Taylor...that is all I have ever owned. I have always wanted to pick up a cheap guitar as a project and fix it.

Well...yesterday I got my chance. A buddy of mine sold me a Korean made Mako Strat copy. He only wanted $20 for it so I literally could not pass it up. It is in pretty good shape so I am going to clean it up real good and change out the pick-up. The neck plays real well so I think it can be a good church guitar once I shower it with some TLC.

Forgive the was taken with my laptop's webcam.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sitting Here...Listening To Rush

No link today...sorry. Traffic here in the store has been streaky today. We were really busy for the first hour and then things sort of died. Then there was about a two hour period where we were absolutely dead. Now it is slightly busy. There are a lot of people in the store but they are not buying anything.

I may be doing another wedding later this year. A buddy of mine is getting married in September and he has hinted at the idea of having me do the service. That could be interesting.

As for the title of is just a statement of fact. I am sitting here at the counter with Snakes & Arrows playing. Life could be much worse.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Kepa Is One Of My Heroes

I have known Kepa for several years through another internet site that we both post on. He is a funny guy. He is a very talented guy. And as the video will show...He is one of my personal heroes. The coolest thing about his journey is that he did it the hard (right) way. He ate healthy and exercised. You really should check out his blog and read his entire story. The link is listed at the end of the video.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Breaking The Law

It seems like one trend amongst metal/hard rock bands is to do albums of cover tunes. Tesla, Poison and Def Leppard have done them in recent years. Metallica has done covers their entire career. Van Halen had cover songs throughout their career as well. Now favorite hair band...doing it. Here they are doing the classic Priest tune.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

Dio was unquestionably one of the most recognized voices in heavy metal. He did stints in Rainbow and Black Sabbath before forming his own band. A lot of people are unaware that he had been making music since he was a teenager. I thought I would post something a little less known in memory of one of the greatest voices in rock and roll.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

All Things Are Better In Koine

Let me preface this by saying that I have NEVER taken a class in biblical Greek. I have piddled around with it on my own but barely made it past the alphabet. I am not sharing this video to make us all feel guilty for not knowing Greek. I am not even suggesting that we should all go out and start studying it...although that would not be a bad idea. I share this simply because I find it refreshing that there are some creative Christians out there putting out original ideas.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I lived in Hancock County, Mississippi for nearly eight months while I helped start a new church. The little town I lived in is called Pearlington. You will see some of Pearlington in these videos. I did not take them but I appreciate the fact that someone recognized that Hurricane Katrina affected more than just New Orleans. I have friends down there. They are still struggling to move forward...even now. The second video was made by a church working with I.D.E.S. It was made about a year before my family and I moved down there. Ron Loomis is mentioned in it...he is the reason I moved down there. He is the real deal. You also see Adolph "Oogie" Harris and Claude Bello. They are good friends of mine. Here is a list of some things to look for in the second video.

1:44 - Base Camp (this is where we lived and held services)
2:04 - Ron Loomis
3:06 - Oogie's house being built
5:37 - Clara and Cookie (Claude's wife)
6:11 - Oogie telling his story
7:03 - Oogie and Claude

Friday, May 14, 2010

Sunday's Coming

Someone sent me this video and I just wanted to share it. It is a tongue-in-cheek look at the modern "relevant" church movement. It should be noted that the church that produced this video is probably what most would consider a "relevant" church so it is not a case of one group making fun of another. I actually think it is a very humorous reminder that no matter what "style" of church we are...we need to stay focused on Christ.

"Sunday's Coming" Movie Trailer from North Point Media on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

An Apology

I must humbly submit an apology for skipping the last two days. I guess that the only one I am really apologizing to is myself...but that is okay.

I do not have internet at home so I was not able to post anything on Monday. Monday was my first real day off in over two weeks so I took full advantage of it. I did nothing.

Yesterday was a busy today. We had three truckloads of donations to sort and put out on the floor. We got about half-way through it. I then had praise team practice until 8:00.

Today is going to be busy as well...but I did have a moment to sit and write something. I really am trying to avoid multiple absences here. I have found that once I miss two or three days in a suddenly becomes a month or a year. My biggest reason for doing this blog is to teach myself discipline. Right now I am more concerned with quantity over quality. Hopefully...that will change.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

This will be short...I am leaving church and going to spend time with my grandmother, my mother and my wife...who is also a wonderful mother.

You all go love on those special ladies...I will see you tomorrow.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's Day

The link in the title takes you to the Wikipedia page for Mother's Day. I did not know that the U.S. holiday has its roots in the Civil War. In 1868 a woman named Ann Jarvis organized a committee to establish a "Mother's Friendship Day" so that families torn apart by the Civil War could peacefully come together and begin to heal their wounds. She died before it grew to national recognition...but her daughter Anna succeeded. The first "official" Mother's Day was in 1908. It became a state holiday in West Virginia in 1910. Congress made it a national holiday in 1914. Carnations have been the flower of choice ever since Anna Jarvis delivered 500 of them at that first celebration.

If you do a little more research you will discover that within nine years of that first Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis had become so infuriated with the growing commercialization of the celebration that she publicly spoke out against it. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace after protesting the holiday. She was supposedly quoted as saying that she "wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control ...".

It is interesting to note that in the U.S. Mother's Day is one of the most commercially lucrative holidays. It is estimated that Americans spend over $70 billion every year on flowers, cards and gifts. Mother's Day is also the most popular day to dine out at a restaurant. It is also estimated that nearly 8% of the jewelry industry's revenue comes from Mother's Day sales.

So...what do you do for Mother's Day?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Man Beats Co-worker Over Body Scan Comments

Perhaps you have heard about this story. If you have is worth the time to click the link and read it.

The accused (Rolando Negrin) apparently confronted and beat a co-worker after months of taunting and ridicule. Negrin's co-workers repeatedly teased him for having a small penis after employees of Transportation Security Administration in Miami had to go through testing of the outfit's full body scan machines. Negrin confessed that "he could not take the jokes anymore and lost his mind." He beat the man with a police baton and forced him to drop on his knees and beg for his life.

I understand that Negrin has committed a crime...but do you think he might actually get off? It seems to me that his co-workers are guilty of sexual harassment and verbal abuse. If I were on the jury I would have to consider the actions of Mr. Negrin's co-workers. I think he should be responsible for his actions but I do believe he was provoked.

If anyone is actually out there reading this...feel free to share your thoughts.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Students Kicked Off Campus For Wearing American Flag Shirts

Okay...let me go ahead and say this...I usually stay out of these political hot button topics. I do not have the time nor the energy to engage in a negative conversation that will ultimately end up in a rhetorical nightmare. I watch my conservative and liberal friends enough to know that many (if not most) of these "friendly" debates end up in name-calling.

That being said...the linked story is probably the silliest thing I have ever heard. I am sitting here wondering what is being left out of this story. My rational (sometimes) mind cannot comprehend any situation in America where an American flag t-shirt could be deemed offensive. Were these students saying offensive things? Were they disrupting class? My mind tells me that there MUST be more to this story.

BUT...what if this story is exactly what is being reported? Have we really come to a point in American history where an American citizen cannot wear an American flag shirt without being "criminalized" for it? It seems to be that there are some Constitutional rights being trampled all over. Unlike most of the stories that get e-mailed to me...I will be watching this one.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Dust In The Wind

I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment's gone.

The older I get...the more I can relate to this song. I have been watching some of my college acquaintances on Facebook this week. Many of them have been talking about how glad they are that final exams and papers are over. Most of them have been talking about how excited they are for graduation...which takes place this weekend.

It has now been two years since I graduated. I am not working in the field that I went to school fact...I have spent over half of the past two years unemployed. Granted...I am much older than most of the people I went to school with. I was thirty-six when I went back. I do not have the years ahead of me that they do. By the time they reach my age...most of them will have over ten years of experience. Me? Well I have absolutely squat. I have not been able to get anyone to seriously consider hiring me. The one position I have held was not where I needed to be. I am. I am trying to be useful here. I am thankful for the job that I do have. God has blessed us so far.

I do not want to lie kind of ticks me off that I spent the last five years really trying to go where God wanted me to go and I have ended up right back where I started. Perhaps I should have sought better counsel.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Classic Petra Reunion

Okay...I am totally stoked about this one. I am curious to see what songs they re-record and if they make any artistic changes to them. The last time they re-recorded classic songs was on the mostly horrendous Double Take album. I wonder what prompted this?

I really do hope the promised new songs are good. I really do hope that they come close enough to North Carolina that I can make the trip.

Wow...I really have nothing else to say. This is a shock to me. I never expected to see this in my lifetime. Seeing a reunited Stryper playing new music was one thing...seeing a reunited Petra (with Greg X. Volz) is something totally different. This falls into the historic reunion category...just like the first KISS reunion.

Man...Petra...REAL Petra.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

A Brief Note

Sundays are almost always busy for me. I play on the church praise team every week and I occasionally teach or preach when someone is gone.

We (my family) went out to eat after church in celebration of Geoffry's birthday tomorrow. Allan (Geo's best friend) was with us and (interestingly enough) tomorrow is his birthday as well. We went to the Olive Garden in Rocky Mount. I think we had a nice time.

After lunch we drove back over to Wilson and hung out at the church. I actually took a short nap (which was wonderful) and then got up at 5:00 for Bible study.

Now it is time to head home. I do not know if I will get the chance to get online and post something tomorrow and I did not want to go two days in a row without posting. So...this short entry will have to suffice.

I guess I am writing just for the sake of writing. I am trying to make this a habit. For someone as undisciplined as I is very difficult. I am trying and I hope that it will eventually pay off in my output here.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Getting Older

I really have a tough time every year when Geoffry's birthday rolls around. Geo (that is what I call him) is my oldest son and is similar to me in many ways. He likes a lot of the music I listened to at his age (I guess that is not too surprising), he likes having his hair long and he likes to wear band t-shirts. All of those things are a reflection of me. I love the kid. I am proud of him. He is not the source of the difficulties I have on his birthday. The problem is that he is going to turn fourteen on Monday. I have a hard time with that because I remember being fourteen. I am not upset that I am getting fact...I think it is kind of cool that I hit the big FORTY this year. The thing that blows my mind is the amount of time that has passed since I was that age. How do twenty-six years go by so quickly?

My kid is going to start high school in August. That blows my mind. It seems like my high school days were just yesterday. My first car, my first first everything. Now I am watching my kid experience those things and it is weird. I wonder if my parents thought the same things I am thinking now. I would imagine that a lot of my thoughts are typical...but I hope that I am empathetic to what Geo is going through. In my opinion...and this has no basis in anything but my mind...the generational gap is not as wide now as it was when I was that age.

Does that make sense? I feel as if I am more similar to my kids than I am to my parents or grandparents. I do not think this is a bad thing. Perhaps my generation is stuck in perpetual adolescence...we are still big kids ourselves...we should be able to relate to our kids. Now...I will readily confess that I understand my parents much better now than I did at fourteen. I can relate to their fears and concerns because I now have those same fears and concerns for my kids. I appreciate my parents much more now. I am thankful for them...even if there are things I would go back and change. That does not mean that there are not some issues (especially with my father) but I think I do have a better grasp of what they were thinking.

What does all of this mean? I do not know. I guess it means that I am going to have to get used to these weird feelings. Jamie will start kindergarten this year. Chris is going to be ten. I have always had a difficult time remembering my own childhood...until my kids started hitting these milestones. They have been a window into my own past. That has been pretty cool...weird...but cool.