God, family and tattoos

my tattoos, often people ask me what they mean and where i got them, so here goes.

i have a rose on the top of my wrist with the word "family" beneath it, that one is pretty self explanatory. i got in San Juan, Puerto Rico at a parlor on the beach. the dude tattooing me knew as much English as i do Spanish, that equates to "no" and "hi". SWEET! the thing that i failed to take into consideration was that i had been outside at the beach all day, didn't think that maybe i was sun burned. when his gloved hand hit my skin and pulled back i almost jumped out of the chair!

on my left wrist is written purity and on my right wrist is written truth. both of which pertain to God. got them at East End Demographics.

on my right arm is a 1957 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop, light green paint with a white top. side note: the artist who did this tattoo is named Sara "Monster" Kennedy and she has become on of my good friends. when i first met Sara she had her arms folded and she was leaned back in her chair glaring me down. i think that she thought i was looking for tribal work or something. so when she started the peice i was asking a great deal of questions. one of which was, "how much did that gun (i was refering to the tattoo machine she had in her hand) cost you?" she stopped what she was doing, looked up at me and said, "that was a free bee and i'll remember that your IGNORANT to all this. ITS NOT A GUN!" she said sternly. "its a machine!" from then on i have always had a greater respect for the craft of tattooing and the artists. and i must say that i think Sara could beat me up if she wanted to. this was my dad's first car. i really enjoy getting tattoos that symbolize things or people, this is the perfect symbol for him. my dad has been in the automotive business since he was 17 years old in Santa Ana California. he started out doing oil changes and basic tune ups on cars. this is what, i believe, started the love affair he still carries to this day. my father is an awesome man. he has a handle bar mustache. drives a 1969 Volkswagen Baja Bug to this day and loves life. he is one of the oldest kids you'll ever meet!

above the rose and below the bird is written "no compromise". i got this tattoo shortly after Gen Now summer camp last year. the theme of last years camp was "no compromise". coincidence, i think not. this one is more of a reflection of my view on life and more importantly my view on God and Christianity. no grey area, none! that's how i desire to live my life in every way.

above that is the bird. its a sparrow with "est 1983" written beneath it. that's the year that i was born. i got that tattoo at Philadelphia Eddies in Philly. the area is called South street and its awesome, had a great time out there.

on the inside of my forearm is the a-typical "praying hands", written beneath of it is "forgiven". once again that is rather self explanatory.

above that is written "just restin my eyes". this one pays homage to my Grandpa Gibbons who passed away the summer of 2002. every time that we would come over to my Grandparent's house and get ready to back out to lunch or wherever, he would sit down and fall right asleep! i'm talking within 15 seconds the man was out. but when you stirred him he would lift his hat and reply, "i was 'just restin my eyes.'" whats funny about that is my dad recalls all his growing up he would do the same thing. thinking of a tattoo for him proved to be a little challenging. he served during the WWII, landed on D-Day, fought all the way through Europe for 3 straight years, then came home, got a job and started the family. yet, he did not identify with the Army. so i got what reminded me most of him, "just resting my eyes."

on my right bicep i have a tall ship because i served 4 years in the USN.

on the inside of my right bicep i have a rose that say "mom". because i love my mommy! say something!!!!

on the back of my arm, my tricep, have a 1911 model Colt .45 with a silver (grey) oak leaf on the pistol grip. these were the side arms issued to all officers during WWII. my grandpa, Jack Jones, was that officer. we called him PoPo, long story behind that one. he served in the Army for 20 years and retired a Lt.Col. he passed away a few years ago. it was an odd time for me personally. i remember talking with my dad and trying to decide whether i should go visit him while he was alive or wait and go to his funeral, i choose to visit him in the hospital. there were two very distinct features about him that i will always remember. he had piercing blue eyes and a full head of hair. so i flew out to California with the direct intent on seeing him, and i did. it was brief but very good. i prayed with him and spoke for a few minutes then left. after i got back to base (this is while i was in the Navy) that day my dad called me and informed me that PoPo had passed away. looking back on it now i wonder if God kept him here so i could see him one last time.

on my right shoulder i have a wasp but not just any wasp, its Fifenella. it was originally designed by Walt Disney for the Women Air Service Pilots, WASP. my grandma Gibbons was a pilot during WWII. she stayed state side, as most did. what she would do is pick up the plane at the factory in say, Kansas and fly it either the west or east coast. her favorite plane to fly was the AT-6 Texan, it was the fighter of the day. she told me that one of the most nerve wracking times she ever had flying is when she was towing tank targets behind her, that tanks were shooting at! she is still alive and well in Santa Ana California. in July she'll be 87.

written across my chest is "set free" because i am set free from all sin. read the book of Romans.

on my left rib cage, the whole thing, is a spin off of the "rock of ages" work. its a cross on rocks with water around it. beneath of it is written "grace". i need to finish it but i'm scared of the pain. it hurts, a lot!

and lastly (for now) on my upper back is a trinity knot with the words faith, hope and love around it. i started it in Chicago Il. and finished in Clairmonte California.

so you see my tattoos are not an opportunity at rebellion or of anything malicious but simply the story of my God and my family.

hope you enjoyed.


4,000 dead each day. 25,000 a week. 109,000 in a month. 1.3 million a year....

....and that's in the U.S. alone.

since legislation was passed in 1973 legalizing abortion over 40 million have been killed.

it's odd how this has passed under the radar. reason being is because it's looked at as a "choice" versus a life long action/decision. when we stop or infringe on some one's choice where looked at as halting there freedom, which i agree with. but what about when someone else's life is on the line? i do understand that that woman is the mother of that child and she, like all of us, have right over our bodies. i do also understand that that woman made the choice to engage in sexual activity, (which leads to pregnancy) thus demonstrating her maturity, or immaturity, in her individual decision making. at any rate, she made a choice. (
now in cases of rape and or molestation i would argue the point of still having the child to give that child a chance. some will state the case of it being to painful for the mother, good point. however, that child shouldn't have to pay for someone elses action. Just over 1% of all abortions in the United States happen as a result of rape: Torres A and Forrest JD, Why do women have abortions? Family Planning Perspectives, 1988, 24(4):169-176. http://abort73.com/index.html) by making this choice she also, so we should hope, understood the potential ramifications of it. here in lies the crossroads of the problem. people only want the feeling and do not think further ahead to what the potential consequences could be. so the question remains, why should an unborn child have to be put to death due to one's poor decision making?

lets talk about the word choice some more. if someone rapes another person and while standing before the judge in an attempt to justify that action taken they say, "What?! My body my choice! right???" wrong we would say, right? right! in our criminal, social and ethical (how ever loose the ethics might be) society when you make any decision that hurts or effects the well being of another person in any way shape or form you are in direct violation of that persons right to freedom and choice. as is abortion. its an action that not only effects the woman but also effects the unborn child, who does not have the ability to speak for itself. and as basic social standards tell us this is unjust and highly unlawful.

i firmly believe that when people begin to take responsibility for our individual actions things will start to change. and when we as Christians stand up for love, truth and live our lives by the true statues of God and His word this world will be turned over.


blue or red.....left wing or right wing....

.....democrat or republican....couldn't say.

i wholeheartedly believe that it's important to remain aware of the world around us, to shut it out would be a very immature and irresponsible action. how can we help if we don't know what's going on?

a poll recently took by Relevant Magazine (www.relevantmagazine.com) shows that 1% of Christians will vote democrat, 5% republican and 94% say that neither side is the correct choice. interesting.

a friend of mine said this, "It's not going to matter who gets into office, whether they be a democrat of republican, until the church steps up and does what were supposed to nothing will change." sometimes the most profound statement or thought is the most simplistic.

every social issue, every war, etc... can be solved with Christ.



//cutting splitting chopping my mind in two/between here and there/which way to choose?/which way to go?/

//cutting splitting chopping your body in two/between your fathers back and hell/you are the blood for me/the only for me/

//facing separation with no expectation/facing destruction at the the cost of life/life given to let me live/to let us live/dying to live and dying to this so called life we press forth towards the light/

//heaven bound with hell at my heels/power given and strength bestowed/running away from the pain of the past/i find truth in your path/

//this isn't life this isn't truth/false existence under "your" pretence/this world this time is nothing without you//



I had a dream this last friday night that went like so.......

I was in a store, a grocery store I believe. I was shopping around and a small family came down the aisle that I was on. They were in the middle of a conversation and the mother asked the little boy, he couldn't have been more then 8-9 years old, "Who is Jesus?" "Well," the little boy replied. "Jesus was a good guy, did good things but He's not the only way." The mother aggred. I then turned to the family and told them that, "Christ is the only way....." and that's it.

This, Relativism, is something that weighs heavly on my heart. Our society is plauged by it and the avenues of it are endless. This little boy in my dream was stating exactly what is being fed to us on a daily basis thats its okay to mix your character, your God and your destiny with this world. Oil and water. The two cannot mix, it's not possible.

Society and media are slowly, yet subtly, choking out the message of Christ and all to often we buy into it. If you call yourself a follower of Christ seperate yourself from the rest. Don't see that movie that you wouldn't take your Pastor to! Don't assosiate yourself with people who claim to be Christian yet walk as the world walks.

In our minds, thoughts, actions and words there should be no grey area in this matter.


Christa (the wife) and I went up to DC this last weekend. It was a two fold trip. One because it's our one year anniversary on the 20th and two because some sweet peoples we know had there inaugarual church kickoff! It was a great time.

One of the highlights for me this weekend was church. Not just church, The City Church, D.C.( www.thecitydc.org ) The presence of God resides in that house and in the people. I felt just as comfortable sitting in that church as I have ever felt at my home church.

Richmond, D.C. and all over the east coast is about to blow up! I can feel it in my bones! Lets keep the momentum going and be excited for what God's doing!


give up the fight.

we must give up this fight we call life. give up trying to be your own person. give up trying to find yourself because i can promise that you won't find yourself in yourself. give up trying to live this life on your own strength, we weren't made to.

we are a people of a God of love and truth.

i have seen His hand move before me, His word does not come back void. we are built for greatness we just have to submit to our great Father. this life is not your so give it up and bend your knee to God and He will lift you up. He'll fulfill your dreams and the desires of your heart. your life will be strong and your countenance will be that of joy and peace regaurdless of this world. you are made for love and made from love.

be the change.

we have been seeing change and growth in our church and in our community, lets keep it going. so often we complain that nothing is happening, that nothing is changing. what we fail to realize is that we are the change that is needed. what must take place is for us to step up and start something. as men and women of God we are not called to sit back and complain about what should happen, rather we are called to be a light and to make our voice heard. we need to remember that we are making our voice's heard every single day weather we say anything or not. when we keep silent to things around us that we know are wrong we scream that we don't care. however, when we step up, speak out and speak against evil God is heard! i want to encourage us all to remember that we ALL are loved more then we will ever be capable to imagine. lets continue in what we do for God and give Him all the glory.


the potential of a seed is incredible. that one seed can produce a tree, that tree an orchird, and so on. why is it that we abort the seed before it even has a chance to grow....even to be planted. we see the seed in it's infancy and don't like what we see so, and we think its the logical thing to do, we kill it.

we know of planting seeds in others, its a very common topic in the church. we know to nuture, water and cultivate those seeds in others. what about the seeds that the Lord is placing in our hearts everyday? we need to, i need to, step up more and more and cultivate the seeds that God is placing on my heart, on our hearts.