Wednesday, September 30

my reminder update

what my hand looks like at the end of the day. lol sooo it worked so well that as I thought of people throughout the day that I wanted to pray for I added them to my hand. Well, all I can say is that I am glad that my day was not longer or I would have had to write up my arm. :) Anyhow, I actually didn't even write down everyone (as you can see with only adding last names of entire families) so if you don't see your name don't despair, you may have been prayed for (or I forgot, which is likely too). Anyhow, just wanted to give you guys an update as to the effective new (and distracting for other people) prayer system I have. Now what to do about washing my hands . . . hmmmm. . .

my reminder

see i wont forget to pray for you now :)

that's what I texted to a couple of the people on my hand today. I came up with this genius idea (ok that may be a stretch but it worked for me anyway) of writing on my hand people Iwanted to pray for throughout the day. Everytime I looked at my hand I would pray for them individually or just pray for those "on my hand." It was very effective for me. I had no idea how much I actualy looked at my hand or how much everyone else did. I got lots of questions about why in the world I have names on my hand and I jus said it's people I'm praying for. So, anyways just thought I'd share what works for me.

Tuesday, September 29

My Paradigm Shifts

Thomas Kuhn wrote The Structure of Scientific Revolution, and fathered, defined and popularized the concept of "paradigm shift". Kuhn argues that scientific advancement is not evolutionary, but rather is a "series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions."

This is exactly what I keep experiencing with God. . . paradigm shifts. To rewrite Kuhn (who I am nearly certain was not talking about God). . .

"Advancement closer to God is a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by violent spiritual revolutions."

I am sure there is more that I will add to this but it's pretty much good for now.
I write this in the middle of some pretty heavy things on my heart. My wife is due any day now with our third child. (yes I DO count the baby we lost, he is ours even though we will never get to hold him) This event is the cause of much joy and anxiety too for sure.

Then today I found out that my Pop, who has been mysteriously sick for a little while now, has brain cancer and they will have to operate next Wednesday to remove two of the several masses they have found. I found myself questioning God's purposes. At the bottom of my question is really simply questioning God's love for me and my family. I know that is not very Yoda-like but it's the truth. Then I had a close friend (Vince Antonucci) tell me I am being very dumb and I think he called me an idiot too, but that is beside the point. It was not the nicest thing anyone has ever "encouraged" me with (I actually almost texted him back "thanks you jerk") but it is what I needed to hear. Vince also told me I follow a good Father who wants good things for me.

God kind of nudged me and showed me I still sometimes see him as a cosmic tooth fairy. You know, if I leave the tooth under my pillow I will get money or in God's case, if I try and do good and follow him bad things will not happen to me. Unfortunately this just is not truth. God is good and losing our baby was bad. Does that make God bad? no. God is good and cancer is bad. Does that make God bad? No. See, I know all the theological answers to the problem of suffering. Like, we live in a world that has been distorted from God's original plan because humans choose to not follow him therefore "bad" things happen. However, knowing this in my head and believing it in my heart is something entirely different.

It's times like these that God takes these truth statements in my head and connects them to what I believe in my heart that I have these paradigm shifts concerning God. Bad things do happen. People kill for no reason, innocence girls are raped, wars are fought where good people die, "religions" use God to extort money, people lose babies and grandads get cancer. It sucks, all of it and no it's not fair. BUT that does not change who God is. I have found in the midst of the most extreme pain in my life God is there comforting me. I can't really explain it but I know it was him.

Saturday, September 26

Brodie's Birthday Cake

Brodie's cake for his birthday party. Can't believe my lil guy is turning three already. I still remember holding him in the hospital and thinking how little he was (I was kinda worried I would break him lol). Now he's turning three in a few days and can tackle me lol. He is definetly all boy. I tell the guys at work I'm raising a lil Spartan. sometimes I think I'm not too far off. He's a beast. He and Caden (his cousin) wrestle each other like crazy. Brodie only thinks he wins if he is sitting on your head. It's kinda funny. He's definitely getting big. I just hope I'm teaching him all he needs to learn from me. The responsibility of raising boys up to be real men in the world today is a crazy task.

This post was previously done from my phone but it did not post. So I did it manually. Then of course it posted and I deleted the wrong one. So here is the original.

Thursday, September 24

Celebrating Perfection

I have been working on this piece for a bit (of course not as long as Krystal has). This silhouette of Krystal was drawn at 33 weeks. It's almost life sized (although not to proportion as Krystal pointed out that she is skinner, and of course I agree). I got the title of it when I was cutting words and images from the news paper for the left side. I was gluing them up when I looked down and saw two large words cut out, "celebrating" and "perfection." I thought it pretty much summed it up, for Krystal and the baby. :)

Tuesday, September 22

Bean There

Visited a new coffee shop today in Greenbrier. Over by Jason's Deli and Paradox you will find a neatly tucked away secret, "Bean There Cafe". It is very quaint and the coffee and tea is superb. Much better than Starbucks. If you like coffee (or tea) and a nice cozy place to enjoy it, this is your place.

Thanks Dr. Lyons.

Monday, September 21

Skull update

still quite a ways to go but here is another update.

Second session with Dave

These are after my second session with Dave Lukeson from Fuzion Ink. Only one more session for the color in the roses and blood.

front cross

Side view

Back cross.

Skull paintin

skull update. this painting is a lot harder than i thought it would be lol

Thursday, September 17

Went to death . . . weird

Test taken: Thursday, 17th September 2009

At time of test you are 28 years, 1 months and 14 days old

Based on our calculations you will die on:

Thursday, 9th March 2056

You will live to be 74 years, 7 months and 6 days old!
Well that's good to know, guess I need to start getting some stuff accomplished. LOL

Skull updates

Session 1

Session 2

Session 3
The base of the skull is gettin a bit out of shape so going to have to fix that. lol

Tuesday, September 15

More INK!!!!

Today I went 8 more hours under the gun getting inked by Dave Lukeson at Fuzion Ink. It is turning out great! It is deffinitely very different than what I originally gave to Dave to work with but I trusted he would do great. And as any great artist does, Dave took what I gave him put his personality into it and his attention to detail (which is far more than I have ever seen before in tattooing) and transformed it into something amazing. I will be posting some pics on here soon. Im just waiting for the redness to go away.

Thanks again Dave for some mind blowing artwork. I just wish I could put this on the wall in a frame (but that would hurt a bit I think).

And thanks Krystal for allowing me to do it. I know you don't like tattoos very much but thanks for letting me be me and not trying to change me. I love you! You're the greatest!

This is what I originally gave Dave to work with. It is a great line drawing done by a local artist (Joey Nobody at Ocean Mystique. Who could not do the piece due to an accident).

You can look below at some of my first session pics and see who much Dave transformed it.

Sunday, September 13

My skull

Ok this is my newest project, sketched out. And no its not my skull, as I could not get a good picture of it with all this muscle and flech still on it and I was not dedicated enough to take it all off to get a good look at my skull to work from. Sorry. :)

Friday, September 11

Interesting talk

I had a very interesting talk with some dudes I work with this morning. It started bc of the new ink I am getting done. One of them asked me "whats up with the Jesus sh*# ur getting?" Then the other guy, who I have known for a few years, was like "Man, Tommy and Jesus are like buds bro. That's why he's gonna do our wedding." (He asked me to perform the marriage ceremony for his wife and him because he said I was the coolest preacher he knows, I informed him I was the ONLY "preacher" he knows, he agreed lol) Then the first dude was like "huh? what are you ordained or something?" Then of course proceeded to apologize for all the cussing he has been doing and talking about the girls he was "thinking" about, which for some reason is always what happens after people find out I plan on going into ministry. (weird that what people have been "trained" to do is think that they have to act different around "preachers") It was actually all pretty funny. Then the conversation went all over the place. Of course it started with "Why do churches ask for money first thing when you get there?" I had no good explanation for that. Then. "Where does all the money go?" lol Actually, quite a few questions about money and I was finding it interesting that this was the first questions asked. Not "How do I get to heaven?" or "What's the meaning of life?" You know all the questions we, "Christians", try to answer first for people. Anyhow, to make a very long conversation short. It was interesting to see what people outside of the church think about people inside and even more interesting what they think of the person up in front speaking on Sunday mornings. I love talks like these. I will write more on this later and give you some more questions, my responses and the insights I learned from this conversation.


Thursday, September 10

Coolest Urinal ever

This is the urinal target at Smokey Bones! Just had to take a picture of it. It's the coolest target ever. I always liked the bulleye ones but this is waaay better. LOL

Friday, September 4

Brodie wore himself out

I guess brodie wore himself out. This is how i found Brodie and his room when I got home from work. He was passed out cold in his bed. It is pretty obvious (by everything pulled out of his toy bins) that he played too hard today.