December 2, 2016 It's that time of year again. Time to exchange gifts, time to shop, time for parties, time for college football, time to get together with your extended families, time for Christmas specials. My wife Kay and I were watching one of the specials last night. There was someone singing a Christmas song who had a wonderful voice and the musicians were very good. My wife said to me, "I wonder if they even know what they're singing about." We, Copper Coins, have a Christmas concert this weekend (tomorrow, actually). I absolutely guarantee that we know what and WHO we are singing and playing about and for. I can't wait to worship with the "Coins Crew" and everyone who comes out to join us! I hope all remember what we are celebrating, WHO we are celebrating. He came to this earth for us. That is just amazing!
Love in Christ,
October 8, 2016 The last few day have been quite an experience. I went to the doctor to have him check and see why my voice was still a little hoarse after three weeks. He told me not to talk or sing for five days and I am taking steroids for six days. Being a singer, this is like fasting. It kind of encourages you to fast and pray. Do you think maybe God has a hand in this? That's just a rhetorical question. I keep thinking "Be still and know that I am God." I am very much looking forward to the upcoming concerts. We have been very blessed at the last two. If you haven't heard Carla yet you need to make and effort to come out and worship with us. If you happen to see the unicycle video, I just wanted everyone to know I can still ride it... There is an inside joke about that, but to find out what that is ...... You need to ask me at the next concert.
- Donny - singer, guitar player, & unicyclist
August 27, 2016 Arm weakness, sweat and doubt plagued the preparation for the A.B. men's retreat at Keuka College on the weekend of August 13-14. Poor Claudine was feeling very weak and ill, causing some concerns due to a family history of MS. Dale accompanied her to the hospital for testing, which we were grateful for, but that of course left us down by 2 important instruments. No keyboard and no bass. Big hit. Should we still go? We weren't 100% sure. It was sweltering hot, and we knew we were headed for a venue with no air conditioning, which meant less people signed up for the retreat than usual. How many would attend? Would we even still sound decent enough that people could enjoy our music? The remaining 4 Coins had a conference call the Saturday morning of the event. We batted around some logistics for a minute or two, and then out of the chatter, Donny piped up and said, "I don't care if I go by myself, but I'm going."
His steadfastness caused an immediate shift in the conversation, and I think it caused us all to snap out of it, and remember why we do this in the first place. Not because it's easy to travel, set up, perform and tear down, not to be cool and comfortable, not to be praised for our full sound or flawless set... But because we feel called to use what talent we have for the benefit of the Kingdom of God! Would our best efforts still be worth it to Jesus? Certainly!
So we packed up and made our way. And people I'm hear to tell you, we KNEW we were doing the right thing, because the enemy was all up in our grill. ALL. DAY. LONG. EVERY little thing was a struggle, from simple communications about carpooling, to inconsistent monitor output, to the extra batteries for the wireless microphone -- everything was getting bobbled -- we were sweaty and becoming exhausted hours before our 7pm start time, not to mention we had a very loose idea of how the music would end up sounding, which was a little nerve-wracking. Here's how it went:
- I knocked over an entire bottle of water onstage mid-song.
- We ALL got lost during the ending of "God's Not Dead" and it crashed and burned.
- Donny couldn't hear a thing he was singing all night because I was so loud in the monitor.
- Steve played the set in swim trunks (+ a shirt) and no shoes because it was so blasted hot. Can't say I've ever seen him do that before.
- God moved, and people didn't care at all about any of 1 through 4 above.
Mid-set, we read from Job. We talked about the sovereignty of God, and how we won't always know why we struggle and suffer here on earth. How our world isn't perfect, but our God is. And as long as we're willing to stick with Him, He'll always be with us, and He'll get us through.
GUYS. EVERY SPEAKER THAT WEEKEND SPOKE FROM JOB. UNPLANNED. WE HAD NO IDEA THAT THE THEME OF THE RETREAT WAS "OVERCOMING ADVERSITY" LOL/WOW. #THANKSHOLYSPIRIT.
Guess we all had a little of that to learn at this event. God is cool like that.
So, our last gig was very interesting. It was quite a series of ups and downs (and downs and downs, and ups!) that ultimately led to what anyone there would tell you was a valuable time of worship to celebrate our God. Praise God that Claudine's sickness was only a virus, and that there was homemade ice cream available at 10:30am after a hitch-free Sunday Morning worship set and record-fast tear down!! (Thanks to all the A.B. men at the Keuka College retreat for hauling our heaviest gear!!)
Can't wait to go back next year :)
June 10, 2016 Creation is a compelling case for a Creator. My dad forwarded this link which certainly hammers on that theme. Enjoy!
April 27, 2016 Bristol trip. Dale and I had the opportunity to go to the race in Bristol, TN (April 15-18) where we met up with another friend, Dan Williams. The race was great but what I wanted to talk about was the trip down. I drove and Dale was the co-pilot, and we had a GPS to guide us... Well, most of the time... It kind of reminded me of our daily lives. We control the things we do every day, but if we're smart we have God as our co-pilot and the Word of God as our GPS. I know without help I would definitely be lost. I also have to remember there are many in this world who are lost. I look for ways to try to bring people to Christ, but know the only way is if He calls them to Himself.
February 27, 2016 I was sitting here at home preparing my Sunday School lesson for tomorrow and was reminded once again of the material we covered last week. We were in Colossians chapter 3, verses 1 through 17 - which in my Bible is titled "Put On the New Self". It brought to my mind how, just as the text suggests, this is not unlike putting on a new, clean set of clothes each morning before we head out the door. We make a conscious effort to lay aside our used, dirty clothes and start fresh... well... because it's healthy, makes us feel better, and is appreciated by those who have to spend the day with us. I mean, really, who would want to wear the same underwear all week?
Just like putting on new clothes, as followers of Christ, we need to purposely choose to "put on our new self" which has been made new in Christ, and seek to actively demonstrate compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love to each other - believer and unbeliever alike - and do so in the power given to us through the Holy Spirit. And we need to do this daily each morning. It's not a "do it once and forget it" kind of thing because the enemy is always there to trip us up and keep us dirty. We need to go to Christ and ask for His help to start each day, then follow through. If we don't, then we really start to stink after awhile and it becomes pretty apparent to everyone around.
February 23, 2016 With the change in weather, it gave me an opportunity to take a walk down through the woods surrounding my house. I noticed some of the older trees were hollow on the inside. In the past, some trees have fallen down due to the fact they were weakened by being rotten on the inside and they fell down during a windstorm. It made me think that if we are not careful as believers in Christ we can become hollow on the inside. We get so concerned about how people look at us on the outside that we neglect how we are growing on the inside. We might even start to compare ourselves with others or look down on others to build ourselves up. If we do not grow, we are going to start to rot.
Music helps me to worship. It reminds me who God is, what He has done for me, and what He continues to do for me. My challenge for you is to find something that draws you closer to Christ. Don't be afraid to share it with others. I'll try to keep you posted on what God keeps speaking to me about.
February 17, 2016 Well here we are at the start of a new year. I am very much looking forward to the band traveling to different places together to worship and sing praises to our King. I have just recently been working on a new song. The song is called "Just Another Day". It, in many ways, describes my life. I get up and go through the same things every day (shower, brush my teeth, get dressed, make coffee, go to work, do about the same thing every day at work, go home) ...you get the idea. I see people around me who are not happy with their life, or are having health problems. I listen to the news and most of what you hear is not good, people are fighting, people are killed, people are sick. Where I used to work there were people who I used to see every day that were homeless and just looked like they had no place to go.
The main theme of the song changed right in the middle... or should I say God changed the song right in the middle. You see, things work out for me much better when I follow His direction. My wife Kay is a prayer warrior and I am not. You see, I sometimes think I can do or fix things on my own... WRONG! I am trying hard to lean more on Jesus to help me with life's problems. Hopefully we can work out the bugs in this song so you can get some of the blessing from what God has been showing me through this song.
As you probably already know, we have found someone to join us. Let's see ...how do I put this... she's good, no, she's real good. I already have an idea what Copper Coins is going to sound like and I can't wait until we can share it with you. Her name is Carla. She is a little shy... NOT! We are working on some new songs that I think you will like. I hope we have an opportunity to worship together. Hope to see you soon.
- Donny - singer, apparent song writer, guitar player, & child of God