One night, we were at the grand opening of a church. A guy was walking by and heard laughter and saw that the door was open, so he walked in and watched the show not knowing what was going on. He came in and watched the show.
Usually, when Brock invites people to follow Jesus toward the end of the show, he sends them to the back. This guy didn’t wait for the invitation nor did he go to the back. He simply began walking down the center aisle to the front. As he walked, he took off his shirt. It was an odd thing to see a guy halfway stripping in a church. All eyes were on this guy as he walked toward the front of the building.
He threw the shirt on the stage and hit his knees. You could see his shoulders shaking with sobs. Brock picked up the t-shirt to discover that it was an Emenim shirt with a bloody chainsaw on it. The guy was declaring to God and everyone in there that he was changing his life and giving it over to the Lord.
To this day, I still have that Eminem shirt hanging in my prayer closet. Because of that shirt, I am reminded to pray for Eminem. I am praying that the Lord will grab a hold of him and not let go.
In the same fashion, back in the Marilyn Manson days, a guy at one of our shows had on all of the make-up. During the invitation, he went into the bathroom and washed off all of his Marylyn Manson make-up declaring that he was making a big change. It was a physical display of his internal decision to follow Christ.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
One night, we were at the grand opening of a church. A guy was walking by and heard laughter and saw that the door was open, so he walked in and watched the show not knowing what was going on. He came in and watched the show.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Because Brock’s an illusionist, we have witches come to the show on occasion. One night, seven of them came. Four out of the seven gave their lives to Christ. One of them even turned over her necklace, which she had called her “life source” as a witch.
Another night, one of the church leaders came to us before the show began and told us that there was a girl in the audience who was a witch. She had only come to cause problems.
After doors opened, one of our team members came to us and said that something was not right. He could feel it in his spirit. We told him about the girl who was present. All of us prayed that she would not distract.
The venue was a gym and the place was packed, so we did not see or hear her. However, a leader kept an eye on her the whole time. She sat on the back row against the wall. During the show, she had what looked to be like voodoo dolls and was chanting curses on us. When Brock got to the message, a weird thing happened. She passed out against the wall! After the invitation, she woke back up.
We don’t know exactly what happened there, but our prayers were answered. In the time it mattered, she did not distract.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We had crazy things happening at our shows, too. While we were performing at a school assembly in North Carolina to promote our show that night, someone overheard a group of guys saying that they were going to come that night and “kill the preps.” They had made t-shirts saying things like “Keep Christians away from public schools” and “Leave and don’t come back.” That was directed at us.
We took their threat seriously and got extra security for the show. One of the ministers we would share the stage with that night said that at least if we died, we would go out telling the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The guys came that night wearing trench coats. They stood in the middle of the audience in a silent protest even as people were seated. No violence occurred thank the Lord.
After the show, Brock got to share with the protesters. Basically, they were atheists, so Brock told them about all of the miracles the Lord had done in our lives through prayer. Then, he said that he was going to pray to that same God for them. The ringleader quickly said, “No! I don’t want you to pray for me.”
A week later, one of the guys in that group emailed Brock saying that what he had said got to him. He had given his life to Jesus.
A few weeks after that, we found out that the leader of that group had been arrested. He had guns and ammunition and a hit list. The ones who were on the hit list were the students who prayed around the flagpole.
The way they found out about him was that one person in his group informed the authorities about his plan. I cannot help but wonder if it was the one guy in that group who had turned his life over to the Lord that night.
Monday, December 28, 2009
I had another scare one time when we were parked in downtown Nashville in the big rig. Brock was having coffee with our friend, Michael from the worship band, Pocket Full of Rocks. I had gone back to the truck to hang out.
A little while later, Brock knocked on the back door. I knew that it was Brock because nobody but him would knock on the back door. People who were not familiar with the truck would knock on the door in the front by the steering wheel.
Just to be sure, I looked out the side window of the truck. I saw Michael standing across the street. So, I went to open the back door. As I was reaching to unlock it, the verse entered my mind, “Do not be afraid. For I will never leave you.”
I quickly retracted my hand from the door thinking, “Why did I just think of that verse out of the blue?” Instead of opening the door, I called Brock on the phone. No, he was not at the back door. He was still at the coffee shop with Michael. I looked out the window again, and "Michael" was not standing there. I am not sure who it was that was standing there before.
Friday, December 25, 2009
We routinely stopped at a truck stop in Alabama one day. I had been sleeping in the back but awoke when the truck pulled to a stop. I slipped out the back door to go to the restroom. When I came out, I saw Brock pulling the truck out. I realized that he didn’t know I had gone inside the gas station, so I began to run toward him. He was going really quickly in the truck! By the time I reached the passenger door, I was in a full on sprint!
I banged on the door! Brock never stopped. He just threw open the door and pulled me quickly into the truck. Then, he peeled out of there (as much as a Freightliner can “peel out”).
I soon found out that some guy was trying to get inside of the truck. It started when the guy tried to get Brock away from the truck by telling him that his friend had won the lottery. He wanted Brock to come over and see the lottery ticket and something about a news channel being present.
Brock got a weird feeling so he began to leave. As he was driving off, the guy was running next to him on his side of the truck. So, he went faster. He didn’t know that I was running up on the other side of the truck at that same time.
We later found out that the state of Alabama didn’t even have a lottery. He was trying to carjack us!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
For the next few days I am going to tell stories from the time we lived on the road. For two years (2001-2002) we lived in our truck. It's actually called a totorhome. People use it to haul racecars. We used it to carry a magic show, and we lived in it. We had no other house or home. Here is the Freightliner:
Inside, we had a bed, couch, tv, kitchenette, and bathroom.
It was a fun time. After finishing a show, we would go back and sit in the truck and pull out the atlas. Then, we would decide where we wanted to go before our next show.
We traveled all over the country in that truck---Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Canyon, California, Washington state, Washington D.C., New York City, Niagra Falls, Pensacola Beach, FL, etc.
This last one was our favorite place to go. During those two years that we strictly lived in our truck, we stayed at a campground in Pensacola, FL called Fort Pickens a lot. It was situated on the end of the island surrounded by the whitest beaches and beautiful emerald colored ocean. There were many a mornings when I would step off of the truck and directly onto the sand.
We stayed in campgrounds, truck stops, and Walmart parking lots all over the nation. We also stayed at our parents’ or friends’ houses for extended lengths of time. Life on the road is an unusual life with extreme experiences which you will soon see...
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
My heart is heavy this year. I know so many that are not looking forward to Christmas because of broken families or loosing a loved one. I think of Thomas Young's family and several others who got divorced this year. I want you to know that I am praying for those of you out there who are not looking forward to Christmas because it's a reminder of what used to be but is not now. Even if I don't know your name or circumstance, know that I serve a Lord that does. He wants to shower you with His love. He is the ultimate comforter.
"Lord, I pray for everyone out there who are missing Christmases past. I pray for their hurt. Heal them. If they need to forgive, help them to do so. If they need to let go of some resentment or bitterness, enable that to happen. Bring restoration in some sort of fashion. If they need comfort, comfort them in a way that only You can do. Most of all, display Your power and sovereignty in their lives."
I am weeping right now just feeling the hurt of so many out there. I wish that I could take all of that hurt away. I cannot. I can only offer prayers to my Lord Who can do anything. He can even transcend space and time by answering a prayer made on a silly blog.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
We had our office Christmas party at a pottery painting place called "All Fired Up" this year. I've never been to one of these places, so it was fun!
Here's the tea kettle we painted. The top was not on it at the time, but it was yellow too. We want to make moroccan tea in it. It's our favorite!
Here's the whole gang!
Posted by AUNY at 9:32 AM
Monday, December 21, 2009
Last week, we went to an art show for Lindsey Little. She has such great art. I stopped in front of one picture and looked at it for a while. I got one of those weird deja vu feelings. Then, it donned on me why. A few months ago, when we went to San Francisco, we ate at this amazing Chinese restaurant (the best Chinese food I've ever had). Across the street was a building and I felt like I needed to take a picture of the windows in it. So, I did!
As I was standing in front of almost the same picture, I realized what had happened. I had gone to Lindsey's art show the year before and saw the picture of these windows on this building. It was in my subconscious to snap a picture when I saw the same windows, but I didn't know why. I pulled Lindsey over to the picture and asked her if she took it in San Francisco. She said that yes, she had. It was across the street from the best Chinese food restaurant she'd ever eaten at! Not only did we take the same picture, but in all of San Fran, we'd eaten at the same restaurant! That's crazy!
Here's my picture:
If you go to Lindsey's website and browse through her photography, you can find the same picture.
I'll tell you what else is crazy...that would be Brock. At the party, I saw him slip a cookie into my friend, Amy's, purse, and then Lindsey (the Fire-eater), and then another girl's purse. All of them went home not knowing anything was amiss. A couple of days later, I read Amy's twitter and it said, "cleaning out my purse trying to find a key... and there's a chocolate cookie with little teeth marks in here... How does that happen?" Then, Lindsey's tweeted, "haha... Me too! I have a feeling @brockgill had something to do with that..." It was funny!
Friday, December 18, 2009
If you have not read my blogs about the near kidnapping incident in Mexico, then go here, here, here, and here before you read the rest of this post.
There were two verses that I really clung to during this time of the dreams and hawk, Psalm 91:4 and Psalm 17:8. I memorized those verses, but yesterday I decided to read the verses around them. Psalm 17:8 says, "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings..." I stopped there. Why did I do that? There is not even a period there. The next verse says this, "from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me." Wow! This would have given me a clue that it would be people, and they did literally surround us.
Then, listen to the whole passage in Psalm 91. "He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." That's verse 4 that I memorized, but look at verses 9-13: "If you make the Most High your dwelling---even the Lord, Who is my refuge---then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent." Wow! I wish that I would have read that last January when I discovered this passage. I am so dense sometimes. The Lord wanted to tell me so much more, but I did not read the rest of the passage!
Read the last verses of this passage: "'Because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges My Name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.'"
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Lots of great food!
Lots of wonderful people!
This is everyone looking at this girl whom has adopted 13 kids in Africa by herself. We think that she would be perfect for Aaron. He goes over to Africa to help the people there in the same area!
Brock is talking about how much food he ate. Then, he gathers everyone's attention and turns it over to Lindsey Little to share. She is the one sitting on the arm of the sofa.
People with the gifts they acquired during the white elephant exchange.
This is so funny!
Posted by AUNY at 9:14 AM
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
We had our annual Christmas party last Sunday night. It was fun! We had a feast of porkloin, grilled chicken, bean bundles, potatoes, cheese balls and crackers, homemade angel food cake and banana pudding, and more. The food was great and the company was wonderful. We had 17 people over.
After dinner, Lindsey Little shared some amazing stories from her mission work in India. She is such an inspiration. Her life is a mission for the Lord. We raised over $500 toward her next adventure overseas. She is having an art show tonight to tell more stories and raise money for her trip next year. Please pray for her if you think about it. She is literally on the front lines.
Then, we did our traditional white elephant gift exchange. It did not disappoint. Some of the highlights were a plunger, a homemade sugar cookie in the shape of Elvis, and a cassette tape from the 80's including "Jessie's Girl." What a night!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
I have been without a computer for a week while it was getting some repairs, so this has been a long time coming. Here's some pictures from Thanksgiving...
We stuffed ourselves!
We all had our mukluks on.
Us on our annual Thanksgiving Day walk.
This year, we went to a bridge over a pretty river.
Posted by AUNY at 3:31 PM
Friday, December 11, 2009
The shows Wednesday in Stockbridge, GA went super well. The people there at the Community Bible Church were wonderful to work with. They helped us with every move of set up and tear down. It was still a lot of work, though. Three shows in one day was tiring.
It was worth it, though. After doing two school assemblies, many people whom would not normally attend a church came that night. Then, we saw a remarkable response to the gospel of Jesus.
During the invitation, I realized something that I have taken for granted so many times before. Every time Brock gives the gospel, I can feel the presence of the Lord externally. I feel Him quite often internally because the Holy Spirit resides in me. However, feeling Him move throughout that building was indescribable. I could not even see the crowd or anything because I was backstage. However, the emotions I had were incredible.
This is how it usually goes and Wednesday was no exception. I begin praying backstage over the crowd. Then, when I feel the Holy Spirit show up in all of His power and glory, I change my prayer to: "Despite me, please come and do Your thing." I immediately begin confessing sin. Then, I remember the audience, so I begin praying for them again. The Lord then basically says, "I am dealing with the people in the crowd but let's talk about you." He is working all throughout the room with each individual even me. He can do that. It's such an amazing time that it is rather addictive.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
I am feeling so refreshed! I see now why it was necessary for me to take some time off. Not only was my patience running thin, but I was loosing touch with everyday life. We have such a unique lifestyle that "regular" life was slipping away. Loosing touch is the death of an artist and a minister. You cannot relate with people and meet them where they are if you don't have any common ground.
Plus, I feel that if you are an entertainer, you are a servant. You are providing your audience with a service. Therefore, they are your main concern. I was getting distracted and did not have a servant heart lately...at least not on the road. I feel revived and ready to serve again now!
Pray for us today. We have two school assemblies and a show tonight in Stockbridge, GA. Pray that the shows goes smoothly and attendance is great. Pray that the Lord will work in the hearts of the people present.
Posted by AUNY at 6:11 AM
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
I got the hiccups yesterday for a couple of hours. Every time I get them, I am worried that I'll have them forever like the poor little girl I saw on the news. I immediately tried holding my breath to get rid of them. It did not work.
Brock looked it up online and told me to gargle water. I did that, and it did not work! As I was still in the kitchen, I heard a loud knock at the door. We live so far out in the country that this is rare. Brock asked me to get it. Nobody was at the door, and I could not see a car. I turned around, hiccuping as I did, and Brock was smiling. I guess that he was trying to get my mind off of it, or scare me, or something. It did not work.
19 out of 20 people said that downing a teaspoon of sugar worked, so I tried it. To my surprise, straight up sugar is not good. I definitely have a sweet tooth, but this was not the cure. However, was the cure for my hiccups! My hiccups were gone!
What causes hiccups anyway?
Monday, December 07, 2009
My two months off officially ends today. We are performing in Georgia tomorrow and Wednesday, so it's back on the road for me. Pray for those shows. I am nervous about getting back into it.
Well, I stuck with my schedule as far as hanging out with people. I am going to continue having date night on Mondays. (I really like that!) I have found a girls group whom I meet with on Tuesday nights that I am going to keep. They are wonderful girls whom I have made a connection with quickly. All of the other stuff has faded away which is fine, because my life is about to get busy again.
I did not do any of the projects I planned to do except one (out of about 7). I cleaned out one closet, but it was our clothes closet, and I do that every year when it's time to switch from summer to winter clothes. I am going to count that!
However, I did rest a lot. I built up some relationships with some wonderful girls here in town. I feel rejuvenated and relaxed. I am actually excited about getting back on the road tomorrow!
Posted by AUNY at 9:17 AM
Friday, December 04, 2009
My life just became busy this week. I am now a member of the busy club again. I am ready for it! Just when I was beginning to get a little bored, things began to pick up. We went to a Christmas party on Monday night. Tuesday, I was in a conference all day. Tuesday night, I went to my village meeting. Wednesday, we had the entire Reach Your City staff and a lot of the ministers over for dinner.
Yesterday, Brock and I went to a meeting. Then, I went for my quarterly haircut appointment. It took over two hours. (I am supposed to go every 6 weeks, but it's too expensive and time consuming. Therefore, I let it go for a few extra weeks. I just wore a hat for the last several days. This is a long tangent, but I got some compliments on my hats. In fact, Nicole C. Mullen complimented me on my new hat in the grocery store.) We had dinner with Ken Davis and his wife last night.
Today, we leave to go to Batesville, MS. Brock is racing at the Arenacross there. It's going to be fun! I like to sit in the stands and read my book in between all of the races. Then, I love watching any kind of racing!
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I will get some pictures up soon, but today I want to talk about something I had the privilege of experiencing last night...fellowship. This used to be a big deal at church. We would have a "fellowship," which really meant that we would get together and eat. For some reason, I have not been to a church "fellowship" in many years. Then, I realized that we have "fellowships" at our house when we have parties with a purpose. The problem for me at those parties are that I don't get much hang time because there are so many people to host.
For the last couple of days, our office, called Reach Your City, had a spiritual retreat for the ministers and staff in town. It was wonderful! We gleaned wisdom from a guy whom I really respect, Scott Kindig. I looked around the room, and all of us were intensely soaking it in. When you are the minister, sometimes it gets draining because you don't have anyone pouring into you.
Then, last night, we had everyone over to the house for dinner. Brock had grilled chicken. I made bean bundles, potatoes, and salad. Then, I made homemade pudding for dessert. After dinner, we sat around and shared stories and pet peeves. It was fun and refreshing!
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
We had a great time this year. I was a little sad going into Thanksgiving because nobody was coming to stay with us for the whole weekend. For the last 3 Thanksgivings, we have had lots of people come over and stay and simply eat and hang out the entire time. I decided to lower my expectations and just enjoy whomever came.
It was great! There were eight of us on Thursday for a feast of a meal. We ate and laughed. We went for our traditional after Thanksgiving meal walk. Then, we sat by the bonfire for a while. We then came inside and watched a movie. Then, out came all of the food again for take 2! After dinner, a few more people stopped by to chat. Then, everyone except Steph and Lindsey left at about 12:30. The two girls spent the night.
Friday morning, Lindsey made us pancakes and we watched the movie "UP." It was a cute movie. After the movie, the girls left and Brock and I each laid on a couch. We were parked there the rest of the day. We slept and watched TV and just vegged out! I don't think that we had ever done that for a whole day before.
When I woke up Saturday morning feeling very rested, I realized how tired I spent the previous Thanksgivings. Whenever we had people stay all weekend, I was hosting the entire time. This was really nice. Saturday night, about a dozen people came over to our bonfire. We roasted hot dogs and smores and just talked. It was a nice weekend.
Posted by AUNY at 7:03 AM
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Tomorrow, this will go back to a happy blog like normal. Today, I need to vent my emotions about what happened with Thomas. (If you did not read yesterday's post, read it first.) I am very down about this, not only because I knew Thomas. But also because he did what we do minus the illusions. He spoke alongside us at camp every summer. This makes me wonder how he got to that point. We saw him a couple of summers ago and everything seemed fine. From what I understand, this all began a year ago. It's such a shame that all of this could have gone down in one year!
If a plumber has marital problems, he gets a divorce and life stinks. If a minister has problems, they lose their job and family, and seemingly their whole life. The other question is, who does a minister turn to when they have any kinds of problems? They are the ones who are supposed to have all of the answers. They are not supposed to have any problems. Well, that's not the way life always goes.
I think about Brock and me. We don't have any troubles right now. (In fact, I am realizing how great a life we have.) However, a year ago, Thomas might have said the same thing. So, who would we turn to if we had any bad situations? I think about our parents whom are pastors at churches in small towns. Who do they turn to if they have any questions or problems? The point is: we are people just like you who are trying to figure out how to live a life pleasing to the Lord. That's it. We sin. We have emotions. We are human. Pray for us. Pray for your minister. We all need prayer.
Posted by AUNY at 7:04 AM