Sunday, December 7, 2008

Acoustic Showcase

Our Christmas Acoustic Showcase was great once again this year. Penny started out with some standards as well as an impromptu singalong. Beth, Penny, Allen, and I played a few songs then Amy Stroup took the stage. Jonathan Lee finished the Showcase out with a few standards and one original.

Amy is an up and coming local artist who is working on her fourth independent release, entitled THE OTHER SIDE OF LOVE/Session One. She has been writing with several local singer/songwriters such as Trent Dabbs, Nathan Chapman and more. She engages audience through catchy melodies and lyrics that explore refreshing truths about life, love, and spirituality.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Quick Trip to Florida

Directly after church Sunday November 30th Matt Underwood and I loaded up a white Kia minivan with lots of video equipment and sleeping bags. We headed to Birmingham where we picked up Jonathan Lee. The three of us had two missions, to check out a new camp facility and film promo's for 2009's Getaway youth camp.

While picking up Jonathan we found this great rainbow over Walmart so Matt immediately went into filming mode.

After ten hours in the van we arrived in Panama City Beach to find that Florida was much colder than any of us thought possible. We loaded into our room and crashed quickly. We woke to find the elements were against us but we were dedicated. Because we woke to fourty degree weather with strong gusts of wind, we figured the best way to start the day would be with Waffle House in our stomachs. The waitress informed us that the temperature had been in the sixties the previous week but rain the day before brought in the cold.

We then toured the new facility and filmed like mad men. Our goal was to look like we were warm and having a good time even though the temperature still had not broke the forties. Matt shot a great facility tour with the borrowed steadicam rig. For those that do not know, a steadicam is a stabilizing mount for a video camera, which mechanically isolates the operator's movement from the camera, allowing a very smooth shot even when the operator is moving quickly over an uneven surface.

That afternoon we all agreed we had to find the Sonny's BBQ. Sonny's has been a favorite of mine since I was a kid. My Dad would always make a point to stop anytime we passed one. The BBQ sauce is like no other and the sliced pork, BBQ baked beans and garlic bread are always so good.

After processing a hearty meal we got back to work filming. We also took frequent breaks. While touring the facility we found an old Ping Pong Table where we quickly started up a tournament. Apparently I was a Ping Pong champion in a previous life because I ran the table.

The beach was a unique site. The wind was blowing so hard that the sand became more snow like. Footprints would cover up right in front of your eyes. The sand had wind blown streaks all across it. We were limited in the amount of on-the-beach filming we could do but we got creative. We ended the filming day by setting up the camera to catch the sunset. Time laps videos are great!

Since PC Beach all but shuts down in the off season we had to hunt for a good Seafood place. We found Skampy's and they exceeded our expectations. The Fish, Crab Cakes, and Shrimp combo was a good choice.

The following day we loaded up and heading home. I think I speak for the group when I say we were all glad to be home. Jonathan had been in several states that same week, Matt was feeling a little sick and I... I missed my family.

I gave my son a HUGE hug and kiss. He was holding a coloring page he had done for me. I enjoyed being with Jlee and Matt but I missed my wife and son.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Top Cds of 2008

Sigur Ros- Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust
She & Him- Volume One
Death Cab for Cutie- Narrow Stair
Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes
Coldplay- viva la vida
Ben Sollee- Learning to Bend
Joshua Radin- Simple Times
Flight of the Concords- Flight of the Concords
Vampire Weekend- Vampire Weekend
William Fitzsimmons- The Sparrow and the Crow

Honorable Mentions
Jack Johnson- Sleep Through the Static
Ray LaMontagne- Gossip in the Grain
Coldplay- Prospekt’s March EP

Friday, November 14, 2008

Roman Likes Madagascar 2

It is too early for Christmas music

I am a huge fan of Christmas. In fact, growing up I had huge plans to decorate my house like Clark Griswald. Thing is, too much of a good thing is... bad.

Every year Christmas is forced down our throats earlier and earlier. I would not be shocked if Halloween were bumped up a month just to get people Christmas shopping sooner.

Thanksgiving has become a time for people to practice for Christmas. We rush straight through Thanksgiving in an effort to get to Christmas.

Our tradition has always been to put up our Christmas tree and get out the Christmas music the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year I will be traveling that weekend so it may be up a week earlier. Regardless, some people have already decorated their homes for Christmas and we are still two weeks away from Thanksgiving. And when did we start playing Christmas tunes in stores? It is odd to walk through Walmart and hear, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire..." it is as if it happened over night.

I would understand if I felt like businesses were legitimately in the Christmas spirit but they are simply playing holiday tunes to inspire everyone to buy.

In short, I say bring on the Christmas tunes. Sinatra singing White Christmas puts me in the spirit instantly. However, lets not force it.

...of course, I took my son to see Santa at the mall this afternoon and he got reindeer antlers to take home.


Originally I named Fridays, “Daddy Roman Day.” My son Roman and I spend the day together while my wife, Margie, goes to work. I look forward to Fridays all week.

Our day starts with a special breakfast, a trip to Target, and usually concludes with a game of football. Because my week can be busy, it is nice to have a day set aside to focus on my boy.

Roman has now renamed our day, “Daddy Roman Party.” This more accurately describes our day anyway.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Sunday I went to Daniel Wornicov’s art show yesterday. It was incredible to see the displays from local artists. The event was a great success as the old house was packed full of people. There was a live harpist, food, and beautiful displays of local art.

It was great to see Daniel’s works right up there with the best of them. Congrats

I spent the rest of the afternoon at home with my family. It was cold so we started up a fire. Roman is fascinated by fires in the fire place so cooked some little smokes over the fire. Margie made the most amazing homemade pot pie and fudge.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Loofah


So I noticed while showering that I had a blue loofah and a red loofah. Most days this would not seem like a big decision but it is the presidential election! The choice for which color loofah I should choose never seemed more important.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

It is that time of the year... again

Dear people who place fake feet and arms hanging out of the trunks of their cars,

No one is being fooled with this gag. There is not a person on planet earth who truly thinks you were being careless when killing someone and allowed their bloody arm or foot to hang out of your trunk. It’s neither funny nor scary this time of the year. Now if you were to put a limb hanging out of your trunk say, around Easter then that would be funny. No, never mind. Not even the randomness of a fake bloody limb hanging out of the trunk of your car around Easter time would be funny. Let’s face it; it has not been a good gag since it was created. This Halloween, do us all a favor and resist the temptation to try to fake people out.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Getaway B-1

July 7-11 will forever mark a measurable shift in the lives of 33 individuals, my life included. That week I saw God do things I wasn’t sure He was ever going to do again. I saw first hand the changing power of a mighty and powerful God. It is complicated to even put words, sentences, and phrases together to accurately describe what God really did that week. In fact, we may not know the full impact of our experience with God for years to come. Some things may never be revealed here on earth. I do know one thing; God, the spectacular God that we read about in the Bible, spent a week working on the lives of the adults and young people that went on that trip.

Out of that experience, missionaries, pastors, and Christian leaders were birthed. Out of that experience people found out exactly how life changing the power of God can be and none of us, not one out of the thirty three left that week doubting the power of God.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

My Space

What does it mean when the most popular websites are sites to promote ourselves or share our personal information? Sites like Myspace, Facebook, Blogs, truth box, and now Twitter are all sites based around sharing personal information with other people. Does someone care what I ate last, how often I talk to my number 4 myspace friend, or what I am doing right this second? Why is it that we as a society are so fascinated with other people’s lives?

Myspace surveys have to be the biggest waist of time ever.

What's one thing that would instantly make you dislike a person?

What do you do when you need to relax?

Do you believe in Aliens?

What were you doing at 3 AM this morning?

Who cares!

Normally we would have to actually talk with someone for a length of time before we find out what cologne someone wears. Oh, Me? I wear the Usher cologne. I’m kidding but now you are curious as to what cologne I really do wear aren’t you?

Why do we care? Why do we spend a half an hour filling out stupid questionnaires or writing blogs about our romantic trip to anywhere but here?

Is it that our society is craving attention, love and acceptance or maybe reading about other people’s lives give us the opportunity to see how we measure up? How do I compare to everyone else? Isn’t that always the question in the back of all of our minds?

The Truth Box is an interesting addition to the mix. Here we give others the ability to write ANYTHING they want to about us and remain anonymous.

Given enough time I believe that I could find more proof that we are a self-conscious generation of people consumed with what others think about us. Myspace, Facebook, Blogs are simply tools to help us compare and contrast.

We live in an interesting day and time.


Sounds weird but apparently it is all the rage. Why? I have no idea. The only way to find out is to join and try it. Now, it seems really simple. All you have to do is answer one question, What Are You Doing?

Easy enough.

Lets see how it goes. Want to join me?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Church Planting

Today I spent time with two of Chattanooga’s finest church planters, Damon (Hamilton Life and Dana (Embrace Church

These guys are pioneers. Church planting is one of the hardest and most frustrating things someone can do. Damon meets in a theater and Dana meets in an art gallery. Both guys have to set up and tear down every week. They pour their heart and soul into their congregation while hoping to budget.

When planting a church you find yourself in a position where completely relying on God is not an option. I have been apart of two church plants in my eight or so years of ministry so I know first hand how tough it is. While in Kentucky my parents put their house up as collateral so the church would be able to get a loan for a building. There were many weeks we didn’t think the bills would get paid. There was even a period of time where the church was unable to pay me full time so I took on a part time job to supplement my income. You do whatever you have to do to keep the doors open because you find yourself so passionate about what God is doing.

I have a high respect for church planters.

If you are ever in Chattanooga check one of these churches out.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

home phone

Cell phone companies own your soul. It’s true. You are unable to win when it comes to cell phone companies; they are always going to come out on top.

Let us break it down. You pay monthly for a service that requires you to have a working product in order to utilize the service you are paying for. The same company sells you the product you need at a cheaper price if you sign a two year contract with them. You are unable to do anything but sit back and hope your product does not break in those two years. If your product breaks, you can either pay four times more for the same product or you can purchase insurance in which you add to your monthly expense. If you are allowed to pay monthly for insurance then you still have a deductible of around fifty dollars. Now, I say if you are allowed to pay for insurance because even if you want insurance, it is not offered on all products. Consumers can either opt for the cheap or free product that works with the service or pay extra for a nicer product; again taking the chance that said product will break and not be insured. What other service providers do we know of that contractually holds us by the proverbial balls?

In my mind, it would seem as though a service provider should provide us with a working product. For example, I made the adult decision to sign a three year deal with a satellite company. Our deal states that I will pay them X amount of money each month and they will provide me with access to America’s top 200 channels. If service is interrupted or the equipment becomes damaged, our contract states that they will take care of me immediately preventing me from missing my favorite shows.

Now one might say, “well, satellite companies do not provide you with a television set” and to that I say, If your TV set were to break one can shop around and find the best deal at any number of stores that sell TV’s. One can even purchase a decent TV for cheaper than a cell phone proving that cell phone companies own our souls.

I don’t like to complain without providing some course of action. Well, actually I do complain without providing ideas but this time I think we can all ban together and take down cell phone companies one at a time. How you ask? Well, we could bomb them but to take a less invasive and less illegal approach we could all refuse to use cell phones. Let’s get back to the home phone idea. There you have one centralized phone, most of the time in the kitchen for some reason, where the entire family can share. This puts everyone back at home talking and not on America’s highways and byways. Ear cancer would be all but eliminated if everyone stopped holding cellular devise up to their heads. I see no down side to this plan!

Who is with me?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Bored people are boring

I read a quote the other day that said, “If you are bored then you are boring.” My life is far from boring. In fact, it has been a long time since I have even thought I could potentially become bored, even when I have time to sit around and do nothing I find something to do.

This past weekend my wife went home to Kentucky to visit her family. Though I always miss my wife and son dearly, I use my time away from them to bond with friends. Saturday night me and some good friends drove down to east Nashville to a place called The Family Wash. None of us had been before so it was a little disconcerting when we had to drive through some ruff neighborhoods. However, when we arrived we all said collectively, “this place is going to be great!” That night the five of us took in the music, culture, and great comfort which made The Family Wash the hippest place I have been in some time. I will be going back for sure. But as I sat there listening to two guy’s bang out chords on old beat up guitars I realized God has blessed me with an interesting life.

My wifeless weekend has come and gone. Hanging out with friends helps pass the time but I was not cut out to be a bachelor. Needless to say I am anxiously awaiting the return of my wife and son.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Italian Suits

“Tourist traps and public-relations stunts draw attention to themselves, but signs point to something beyond themselves- a destination or a path or something worth noticing.” Brian McLaren

John 14:6 Jesus said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the father except through me.

Most churches are a lot like a tourist trap, you stop by because something big is going on or they are giving something away or they have a unique looking facility. You swing by and get drawn in by their flashy preacher, slick media, or hype based worship. After a while you realize that there is nothing more to the church than flash and you find yourself spiritually dead. Margie and I went to a church just like the one I described. Their preacher used a lot of props and interested preaching gimmicks to keep you interested. The worship was slick; they had renewed musicians playing the hottest worship tunes available. Seriously, the fiddle player traveled the world with the Dixie Chicks, Charlie Daniels, and so on. You left the timed church service feeling like you had just been to a movie or play. You felt very entertained. But is that what church is supposed to be? Better yet, is that what our faith has been lowered to? Has God become nothing more than another form of weekend entertainment?

Christianity has become the most marketed religion, in my opinion. Sure Karma had a good run but Christianity brings in the big bucks and in an effort to capture some of the money churches have stepped it up. We have made church sharper, slicker, and more user-friendly. The problem is Jesus, whom we have loosely based most of our churches after, wasn’t slick, sharp, or efficient. In fact, when He preformed miracles He would tell people to keep quiet about them. One would think that a miracle would be the greatest marketing method ever. If I healed one blind guy I could travel the globe in my person jet holding mass rallies everywhere. People would be chanting my name as I walked out on stage in my gaudy Italian suit. But Jesus didn’t use His miracle working power for his own good. He healed people as a sign, a sign that would make others wonder. Signs point to something bigger than themselves.

God has really been pushing me to make sure my life is pointing people to Jesus.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Crazy Kids

So Roman and I stumbled into the American Eagle this weekend to check things out. I found a shirt I liked and the price was good so I went to purchase it. While waiting for the barely out of high school clerk to ring me up I got my billfold out and began to prepare for the process. I knew the drill, scan the card, punch in my top secret password, take the receipt but STOP… this time was different. The clerk’s first question to me was one I had not heard before. It was a question she had probably asked several customers that day and countless number of people throughout her career at the American Eagle. Little did she know that her question to me would change the way I viewed my world. She said to me, “Do you have an All Access Pass?” I’ll be honest; I think she was a little smug when she asked me. Immediately I felt the need to dig into my wallet as if I had to prove my youth. I felt as though if I could not find an All Access Pass I wouldn’t be able to purchase the shirt or worse yet, I’d be kicked out by some 19 yr old guy named Chris wearing this seasons American Eagle polo shirt and cargo shorts.

While looking for this elusive pass I began to think to myself, “Dave… you have never signed up for this pass and everyone in line knows it. The card is not going to mysteriously appear in your billfold. You’re too old to be in the American Eagle store anyway, turn around and walk, no run out. Don’t forget Roman.” Anxiously searching my over stuffed bi-fold, why I didn’t opt for the tri-fold is a mystery to me, I found my allergy shot card, miniature laminated minister’s license (laugh but I bet you don’t have one), and a Kroger card. No All Access Pass to prove I was still young enough to shop AE.

Much to my surprise the gal behind the counter thought nothing of the fact that I was without the All Access pass. In the back of her mind I am sure she knew I wouldn’t have said pass. She was probably just glad I took my screaming toddler out of her store. Roman hates going into stores. He protests by yelling at the top of his little lungs. Maybe Roman knew my AE shopping days have passed me by. The writing was on the wall when I didn’t know who the radio friendly pop band blaring over the store was.

Back to Macy’s I ran. Good thing Roman and I didn’t attempt to get into the Hollister. They purposely built steps into the entrance to prevent baby strollers from coming in. As if to say, “If your to old or unable to climb the three stairs into our store you should be here in the first place.”

Friday, March 7, 2008

Breaking Point

Why is anger such an easy emotion to express when emotions like love, joy, or kindness are difficult? Is it that we are all born on the edge of pissed off and it only takes a slow driver, wrong number call on your cell phone, or a carwash to push you over the edge? Car wash? I saw on the news today where a mom was washing her car in a carwash when she grabbed her 2 year old daughter and started spraying her with the high pressure carwash hose. Crazy you say but we do not know what we are capable of doing when we live on the edge of pissed.

Have you ever said, “If he/she _____ that one more time, I’m going to _______.” We may not always follow through with the threats but the fact is we do not know what we are capable of when we break. If you are like me your breaking point varies from day to day. I think this raises the level of unpredictability which is fun for those around me. If someone says something that hits me the wrong way Monday, it may not evoke a response but Tuesday, look out. What pushes my buttons may not come close to what pushes yours because our breaking point all vary but there is one person who is good at the whole, “long suffering” thing, That person is God.

I am thankful for scriptures like Psalms 103:8 that say that God is slow to anger. .If God were as quick tempered as I am this world would have been obliterated long ago. People would be randomly blowing up everywhere, limbs flying this way and that. It would look like the first few minutes of Saving Private Ryan all of the time. But the word of God says that He is the opposite of me. God’s secret, the Bible says that God abides in love.

So it is impossible for us to avoid the carwash, traffic, solicitations calls, or what ever pushes our buttons. However, we are still required to walk in love or as I like to call it, walk less pissed off. How do we go about this? To me it seems virtually impossible. In reality it is impossible in our own strength but the key is to live more selfless. How profound. We live our lives looking out for number one. We refuse to let someone get something over on us. We are constantly on guard. We have all known people who are so sweet and kind and we think, Man, I bet they get run over all the time. People probably trample on them because they are too kind. I have said that myself but what is too kind? How can we be too kind? See, when we live a selfless life then life stops becoming about who stole our parking spot, our promotion, or our car.

Jesus modeled a selfless life for us. Many times Christians think that Jesus simply couldn’t wait to be nailed to that cross and hang there. We think Jesus just skipped right up to the cross. After all, don’t we all want spikes driven with a mallet through our wrists and feet? Scriptures tell us that Jesus struggled with the task. Matthew 26:39 says, Jesus fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me." But Jesus did not stop there. See Jesus lived a selfless life. He continues by saying, "Yet not as I will, but as you will.” At any point He could have called down from heaven and stopped the process. Jesus was not living His life for Himself. He didn’t live here on earth to shop the Green Hills Mall, drive the finest car, and have the iPhone which would have given him the ability to sync all of his contacts with his PC or Mac as well as listen to His voicemail messages in what ever order He wanted.

We must get up ever single day and die to our self. This sounds exciting doesn’t it?
It is only when we stop making this life about us that we are able to live for others.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Finally I took the opportunity to spend some quality time with my wife. Yes wife. Not mother to my son, chef, housekeeper, gardener, youth pastor’s wife, friend, babies momma. I spent time with the love of my life. The women I fell for seven or so years ago in that karaoke pizza joint. Truth is I forgot how much fun Margie is. I mean its fun to watch her chase naked Roman through the house as he runs from a tooth brush wielding mom. But this past weekend was different. After all, everyone keeps telling me I married up but I had forgotten.

It is amazing to me that one can drive twenty minutes down the road and feel like you are in another town. Margie and I celebrated our anniversary by… staying in Nashville. After all, we have lived right out side of Nashville for over a year and, up until now, have never been downtown together. Most of my downtown trips are spent with Aaron and though he always treats me nice it’s just not the same. Close, but not the same. Wait, no it's not even close.

Sunday Margie and I walked the pedestrian bridge, a very romantic scene I had previously only shared with Jeremy. What? He took me to the Titans game so I felt like I owed him the bridge thing. Then Margie and I checked into the Gaylord Opryland Hotel where Jesse took great care of us. He surprised us by putting us up in a nice room. Margie and I then ate at the German Town Café. Finally we topped off the weekend by spending some time in West End. Needless to say it was great to make memories. Memories with the women I vowed to love and cherish until death do us part. Cliché coming up, wait for it. Wait. It truly will take death to pull us apart.

Reality hit us hard when Roman decided to stay up most of the night we returned. At first I was mad. Well, I was mad mostly because in the pitch dark I tripped trying to get to his room to put him back to bed at 3am. My anger subsided and I realized Roman is the product of my love for my wife. I thank God that he will grow up in a loving home with parents who take the time to spend together.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

the pace of life

I love Tennessee. This state is a great state to live in. My biggest complaint since living in Middle Tennessee has been the lack of snow. Though I still complain, we actually have snow on the ground. Sure it’s only an inch or less but… its snow. It’s white, powdery, and scary for those not use to driving in it.

The thing that drives me crazy about semi-bad weather is the people who drive in it. Now I understand grandma is a little nervous driving her Cadillac when there is some wet stuff on the roads. What I do not understand are the countless number of people who pay top dollar to buy massive SUV’s and still drive like their going to spin out of control at any minute. I want to shake them and say, “you paid $40K for that all terrain vehicle, what are you scared of?” Vehicles like Hummers were created to drive in any kind of weather. After all, the Hummer commercials show the thing going underwater.

Now, I’m not calling for people with SUV’s to, “drive em like they stole em,” I’m just asking them to move it along a little bit. There are many places in this great area where the roads are legitimately bad. Just today I saw two vehicles off the road, one was a diesel truck. What I am complaining about are those driving on highways and interstates. They salt the main roads well before it even snows. Move, move it along a bit.

Bad driving or not I love the snow. It slows things down a bit. Life is too fast. We move from one task to another, from one scheduled appointment to another. Days feel more like hours now. Hours feel more like minutes. Life is moving at the speed of broadband so it’s great when something like a snow storm can come in and stop everything. If you walk outdoors it just feels quiet, calm, and soothing. I complain that people are driving to slow because I still feel rushed. I find myself unable to slow down regardless of the weather. I have no reason to rush other than the fact that moving at break neck speed has become the norm for me. I have to learn to pace myself.