Buncrana (part 2)

Ok…where did I leave off? What a great day (so far). This morning,
Durand and I helped lead worship
at the church here. I gave an oh-so-brief version of my testimony.
After the music, we shared
communion and Durand challenged us to find new ways for the church to
be good neighbors to the community.

After a great Irish lunch of fish and chips, we played at the Drift
Inn. Another beautiful pub/restaurant
(it was the old train station). Arsenal was playing Manchester, so as
to not offend the fans, we played
with the telly left on (but the sound down). Manchester did win, but we
had a great time. Jason’s song
“Love Song For The Curse” went down very well.

The bartender (Paul) loved us and wants to know when we’ll be back.
There was a great couple
(Seamus and Mary) that I had a wonderful conversation with. Seems that Seamus is
a bit of a guitarist himself
and he bought my CD (as did Paul); they both asked me to sign their copies. Very
sweet folks; It’s difficult not to
fall in love with these people and this island.

Ok…this update will be in three parts, as it’s time for a traditional
dinner of spaghetti (traditional at the
Vinson home anyway…lol). Tonight we have a concert and we hope that
many of the folks we’ve met
at the two pubs will be there.

Love you gang!!


First night in Buncrana (part 1)

Good morning!!

Well, the first half of our journey is over and now we get busy! Yesterday we said our tearful farewells to our new friends in Newbridge and headed into Dublin. Our contact up north, Mike Mullin, was in town for a meeting so we larked about town until he finished.

There is an old saying in Ireland…if you dont like the weather, just wait a few moments. And this couldnt have been closer to the truth! We were hanging in the really cool Temple Bar area and after a great lunch, we continued our sightseeing. It was a bit cold, but very sunny. While we were eating, a hard rain blew in and out as fast as that. Durand and I were visiting the Irish Film Institute when out of nowhere, hail starting falling hard and fast; yes, hail! After about 10 minutes, they came Fat Old Sun acting as if nothing had happened. Way cool!

We had a grand journey traveling up to Buncrana. If you ever get the chance to come to this beautiful island, you simply must! I dont have the vocabulary to describe the glory of it…Ill just say its grand!

Mike Mullen heads a ministry up here called Operation Mobilization (OM), and he lined up another pub for us to play. And if I thought the Newbridge pub was cool, then Roddens was incredible! Its the kind of place where you stepped back in time…very quaint. I fully expected to see Frodo and Sam at a table, and Strider lurking in the corner…lol!

The three of us played about 2 hours to a packed room. They were great! Today we lead worship at Mikes church, this afternoon we play a restaurant, with a full concert at a local venue tonight. I think they were going easy on us down south, as we are slamming up here!

Well, Ill have to finish this update later, as we have to head to the service. By the way, wish Carol a happy birthday…yes, today is her birthday!!

Later, my friends!!


Final night in Newbridge

Hey guys,

We literally just finished our final concert in Newbridge just moments before. As I type, a crowd of about 60 folks are milling about in the main room of the Open Arms Community Church. It was a different night than we had planned, as Tony had to unexpectedly fly home this morning. And while we missed him greatly (Tony has won many fans here…no surprise there!), Durand, Jason, and I turned the night into more of a group effort. I had the wonderful privilege of playing on songs by both guys…and what great songs! Jason has one called Porcelain that talks about how breakable we all are. And Durand ended the night with a song of his called Only Plea which runs from one chorus that says …were guilty, to the final chorus that declares that were …forgiven.

And that sums up our lives…we are born guilty, but thanks to Christ’s sacrifice, we can be forgiven. I had the chance to play one of my favorite hymns called The Fountain, which talk about His sacrifice and how we can be washed clean.

All in all, a great end to a great week! Tomorrow we travel up to Buncrana. Keep praying and youll hear from us again (and soon!).

Love you guys!


Bridging the gap in Newbridge

Great news!!

I forgot to mention that the two ladies we played our ‘private’ concert for at Ross Morgans were at the concert tonight!

The mission of Project Onefifty is to use music as a tool to reach people outside the walls of the church. That’s a great goal in and of itself, but unless the local church is involved, then it’s all for naught. P150 works as the musical extention of the local ministry, and it’s a wonderful answer to prayer to see that we’ve helped bridge the gap in Newbridge.

It was only two people…but worth every moment! Again, none of this could have been possible without the prayers and support of you (the folks who make this ministry happen). Open Arms Community Church thanks you…and I thank you!

It’s not over yet! Keep praying…


My Big Green Irish Wedding

Well…it’s never a dull moment on this trip! Tonight we had a great session at the Open Arms Community Church. Not only did we have a songwriting ‘mini-workshop’, but we tweaked the church sound system, and helped their worship band work through a number. These are really great folks who are making a difference in their community. As you can see, I’m a fan!

Afterwards, Tony and I (joined by Jason, Durand, and his daughter Laura) went to a couple of pubs until we found one that would let us play. And boy…what a pub! Imagine your quintessential Irish pub, crowded to the rafters…it was great! We went to a little nook in the place and I grabbed my acoustic and Tony started singing.

Little did we know, but we were playing to a big wedding party right in front of us! They loved our music and I remarked that we were the cheapest band they ever hired…lol! We did get free chips and sausages (and Diet Coke too!).

Tony sang until he could sing no more. I don’t how we got there, but we ended up doing the last 3 songs in the big medley on the Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album. Tony ‘played’ Ringo’s drum solo on his legs and we even sang all the guitar solos…hilarious!

We had a couple of guys come up when we finished and asked what we were about, so you never know how God will use all this.

Tomorrow we go into Dublin for the day and finish up here in Newbridge tomorrow night. After that we head north to Buncrana.

More to come!


Ireland Day Two…Newbridge

Top of the morning!

Ok…Im in Ireland…Im entitled to one cliche, right? We just got home from hanging with our Irish host Shawn after our first concert event. This was held at Open Arms Community Church here in Newbridge. This is a small, store-front church, but is a dynamic body of believers with a great home group outreach. We were gathered in their upstairs coffee shop area, the musicians set up against a huge plate glass window where we saw a beautiful sunset over the town.

And what a varied mix of music. The idea was to give the folks at Open Arms a taste of what were trying to do this week in our outreach events. Tonight was based loosely on a songwriters night. They served tea and coffee, along with biscuits (what wed call crackers). We started the night by hearing a few songs from a young guy named Jason Howell. Wow! What a talent…and hes barely 17! I know he has a website so Ill get the link for you. His music is introspective but with highly charged and thought-provoking lyrics. I know well all be hearing more from Jason in the years to come.

After a quick break for folks to chat and get more tea, our Greater Europe Mission contact, Durand Robinson took the stage. He is more of a James Taylor singer-songwriter guy; his songs are wonderfully melodic and you find yourself really relating to characters he sings about. By songs end, youre left with a great image of Gods truth and how it applies to your life.

Then Tony and I got a chance to have some fun. We opened with U2s When Love Came To Town (pretty cheeky as they say over here). Tony was rippin it up! He is such an amazing singer and had the audience (and me!) cheering along. We plowed straight into People Get Ready which the small but enthusiastic crowd enjoyed.

You know me; next up…a song by the Beatles! In this case it was Things We Said Today. This was a last minute change on my part, I feel led by Holy Spirit to tie into the next song, I Will Trust In You. I spoke about the idea in the Fab Four song about how powerful an emotion regret can be. What do you do or say when youve lost a loved one with whom you had unfinished business? How do you deal with this? Where is the trust that you can move on and allow forgiveness to take hold and healing to begin? We then moved into I Will Trust and shared briefly how this song was a gift from God at a time when I needed His comfort; this song was our gift to them. Man, it was powerful to see the tears in the eyes of Irish brothers and sisters.

We ended with Amazing Grace and it simply was! Before the song, I shared how Project Onefiftys mission is to reach beyond the walls of the church, to plant lines of hope in the lives of spiritual seekers, trusting Holy Spirit to lead in His timing. I told the audience about an idea that I had seen lately, a bumper sticker that said all roads lead to Truth. I took that to mean all roads lead to God. I may have shocked them when I said that I agreed with this idea. All our religions do lead to the same truth…the truth that on our own, we cant reach Him!! So what can leap the chasm between us and God? Only Gods amazing grace!

So let me end this update by once again thanking you for praying for us. Tomorrow we play a lunchtime set at a local restaurant, after which were heading into Dublin to see the sights. I hope to send some pics on my next update.

Love you all!!

Lunch concert…sorted!

Just a quick update about today’s event. It was supposed to be playing some music for the lunch crowd at a very posh place…but somehow things got a bit out of sorts (basically good old-fashion communication mix up). But we ended up playing (very softly) for 2 ladies who wanted to hear more. Come to find out, the folks at Open Arms have been talking separately with these 2 ladies…and they both showed up today completely unaware that we were playing (or had anything to do with Open Arms, for that matter!). They sat and talked with us, and Jason played a couple of songs for them (I couldn’t resist and had to join in).

Tonight, Tony and I were out and about and gave an impromptu performance at a local venue…well, Tony sang and I listened, since my guitar was back at our lodging. The long and short of it is that we’re playing at set at this place tomorrow night after our workshop event at the church.

I guess I’d better bring my guitar!

Love and prayers,


We made it!

Hi everyone!

Well…we made it! Tony Wachter and I arrived in Dublin a couple of hours
ago, and we’re unpacking
and getting ready for our first event tonight. I’ll try not to drive you
crazy with e-mail, but I will be
sending some updates (hopefully with some pics, too). We’re six hours ahead
of most of you, so you
are blissfully sleeping while I’m typing (I’m envious!).

Before I go, I do need to share a prayer request with you. This past
weekend I was up in Asheville,
NC, doing some work with David Gaines (one of my best friends on this
planet!). Friday night we did
some recording work for their upcoming student choir tour; Saturday we
(Kevin Williams and David
and I) did a workshop with their student band, and Sunday found me playing
‘The Fountain’ as the
opener in all three of their worship services. All that stuff went very

But something strange happened Friday night. When I got to town, I
immediately went to David’s and
bagn recording. We got finished pretty late, so it was close to midnight
when I finally made it to the
hotel. When I was checking in, the girl behind the counter (her name is
Deborah) engaged me in one
of the strangest conversations I’ve ever had. I’m not really sure how it all
happened, but she began
telling me about some strange dreams and visions she’s been having.

You must know that for whatever reason, Asheville seems to be the center
for a lot of ‘New Age’
activity. When the Bible says that we are in ‘spiritual warfare’, I believe
it, especially after talking with

She is having recurring dreams about some strange figure that is attacking
her; her very words is
that she feels ‘very oppressed’.

When Deborah asked me if all that meant anything to me, I responded that
if it were me, I’d be
praying for the Lord to either take away these dreams or at least give some
kind of insight as to their
meaning. She gave me the strangest look…she then said that ‘…I believe
in the Lord Jesus’, but my
sense was that her belief was not that of a commited follower.

I told Deborah that I would pray specifically to the Lord for her (which I
have been doing). All the next
day I kept thinking about her and what I could do (if anything) to encourage
her. David found a small
New Testament and a document about spiritual warfare and what Scriptures to
read concerning all
this. I was delighted and determined to take these to her that evening when
she came to work (3rd

I went to the lobby around 11:30pm…but no Deborah. I was wondering if
she was ok, etc., and
determined to somehow get these materials to her. I was also going to give
her a CD, but had told me
that she has no way to play CDs.

I had to be at the church by 7am Sunday morning, so I went to check
out…and there she was! There
were several people checking out as well, so all I could was to give her the
New Testament and the
pamphlet and commit to her that I would to continue to pray. David said that
he and his church would
follow up on her as well.

So, can I ask to add Deborah in Asheville, NC to the growing list of
people who need our prayers?
How many other ‘Deborahs’ are out there, spiritually seeking and oppressed
by our enemy?

Thank you for helping me to be on the road where the Lord is putting
people in my path. Please pray
for Tony and I this week especially as we use our music to plant seeds, and
to help local ministries
reach out to their communities. I literally could not be here without you!!

Sorry for the long message but I really wanted you to hear this story so
you can know how to pray!

Love you, guys!!


Big Spring Jam

Friday night I worked with my old buddy Mike Shaw at the Big Spring Jam festival in Huntsville, AL, playing cuts from his “New Songs and Hymn Reconstruction” CD project. We kicked off the entire festival at 6pm on the First Baptist stage. Don’t let the title fool ya…it rocked!

Mike’s music is very modern and alternative, but reworks some timeless songs and hymns in a very creative way. He also has some original tunes that are excellent. Check out his site at www.mikeshaw.net.

After playing our set, we checked out a few more bands and then I headed the vehicle north for Nashville and home!