Good morning friends…
I hope this finds you savoring the grace of the day you’ve been given. This Free Range Cage Free life I’ve been given has been the most fun and the most stressful of any adventure I’ve been on. And I am grateful you have chosen to come along. Here is an update on life so far, this spring.
Links to cool stuff.
Financial Vision for Inner Anvil
Album Release Video…available fall of 2023
Concert Link…click on the LIVE heading in the header.
The 2nd annual men’s retreat in Priest Lake, Idaho was a great opportunity to gather, deepen and celebrate God doing His thing within and throughout our lives. 5 men responded to the invitation and we holed up in a cabin overlooking the lake for 3+ days. When you allow yourself the opportunity to leave the race of culture behind you free your mind, eventually, to being more available to the promptings of the Spirit. There was no featured speaker, however, there was a vast amount of time discussing Spirit prompted ideas, questions and understandings. As usual, it all passed too soon and we headed back to our daily adventures.
The second event was a benefit concert for Inner Anvil Ministries. Over 500 people were invited. A top notch band was created comprising old friends, former students ( who are also old friends now ), and local professional players. Greg Birchell took on the huge task of rewriting 14 charts, gathering audio recordings of each song and facilitating the relationship with the musicians. He has this incorrigible sense of positive energy and encouragement that allowed me to focus on peripheral opportunities to expand my reach…staging, sound system, food, beverages, etc.
The evening was a huge success with over a 100 people attending. Sound and energy were great…depending on where you sat…so we have some gliches to work out…but it was FUN. We raised several thousand dollars, which will be helpful as we head into event number three.
Number THREE is working with 6-8 high school and college students on creating a summer music performance/ singer-songwriter tour that will extend over 6 weeks, starting the middle of June. We have students auditioning, locations responding and funds needing to be raised. We are working on getting each student a $3000 scholarship. Inner Anvil ( me ) will raise a third, the schools they are attending are being asked to give a third and the students themselves are raising a third. Inner Anvil and any funds we raise by offering and performance will pay for travel expenses. It has the potential to be the beginning of a life changing process for these young people. Not only will they get plenty of performance experience…the goal is 50 concerts in 30 days…but they will also learn how to express their faith journey through their musical skills.
If you have extra funds that are available to support such an effort, please consider us. We think it will take about $20,000 to fully fund the experience.
In closing, I’d like to share a story with you.
God works in mysterious ways, agreed?
I was heading home from Priest Lake, Idaho after getting some more work done on our newest bus. I felt impressed to see if my friend, Don Andregg, would be available to reconnect as I was heading through the Spokane area. He works for Upper Columbia Academy. The numbers I had didn’t seem to be accurate so I took a chance and just stopped by the administration office.
Within 20 minutes we were on our way into Spangle to get a bite to eat and catch up. After an hour or so, he mentioned that the academy had a recording studio and did I want to see it? Absolutely!!! and so off we went. We walked in to find 3 or 4 boys hanging out with one of them working the computer and mixing board. Introductions were made and I asked them if I could hear some of the stuff they were working on.
Over the next 10 to 15 minutes, they shared a couple of tunes they were working on. It was pretty good, especially because I didn’t think they had anyone on campus to walk them through some of the complexities…at least, I didn’t hear anybodies name come up. And then I felt the spiritual nudge to share with them what I was hoping to do the following summer…50 concerts in 30 days. I showed them pictures of the big red bus and shared a little bit of the vision concerning supporting musicians in the adventist community and helping them develop their musical spiritual story. I left them my card and said, ” If anybody is drawn to this, text me. “
By the time I hit College Place I had a text from Kale. They wanted more information and were interested in auditioning. I had no intentions of pursuing students at UCA, but God had other plans. The next day I was scheduled to give a worship talk for the boys and girls clubs at Walla Walla University. I got there early and admired the gracious atmosphere the student leadership had created…popcorn, tea, hot chocolate.
During the worship process I noticed a lot of students on their phones and computers. College students live busy lives and find distraction or purpose where they can…just like the rest of us. As the worship team, who was doing a great job with a thoughtful, introspective set of tunes, started to finish up I went to the dean and asked permission to release students before I spoke…any student that was too preoccupied to engage with me could leave and get full worship credit. He was unsure but allowed that it was my worship.
The band is over. I get introduced to an unsuspecting audience:-). I walk to the front of the room. I offer the students who are distracted or distressed by homework a way out. ” You’ve already given your worship cards so you’ll get credit for being here. I want to talk about Jesus and the amazing way He’s showing up in my life. And I’m old and I don’t want to waste your time or mine…so if you’re not in a space to engage this, you are free to go. “
For the next 20 minutes I shared the story of being a Lyft driver for a satanist on the way to see his daughter and how God shaped me in ways I never imagined. That led into the adventure with the Big, Red Bus and how I felt God was beginning to shape a creative, spiritual voice within Adventism and anyone who wanted to be a part of that voice should see me after.
I was hoping the trio that led worship would stay, but the best I could do was agree to meet any students interested in the school cafeteria the following day from 11-1. Sitting there, the following day, with the boys assistant dean, I watched the guitarist from the previous nights worship come over and sit down. We talked for over an hour. He skipped work. We talked some more. I left him with the guidance being…pray about it and see where God is leading. Wherever that is, go. We would talk in a week or so.
He reached out a week later and eve though his summer was already planned, he felt God moving him into this process.
I don’t know how it will get funded, but I know if He wants it to happen, it will.
Blessings and much love…