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No More Christian Metal!?

Please Read ARTICLE first! Thanks!

Imprisoned As I Lay Dying Frontman Admits to Faking Christianity for Sales

There are a lot of metal heads that feel that Christian bands should not be in their scene. I believe that they have a valid point to some extent. To me metal is an extreme way to communicate ones passions and opinions. Just like any other music styles, metal has a ton of sub categories. My friend Jason was the one that turned me on to this thing called metal and later became a on air personality on a overnight Christian Metal show called Nitetime 91 on KOKF 91 FM in Oklahoma City. Since I used to spin Christian Metal for a living I would like to share my thoughts on this Billboard article.

The metal scene is not the only one that has an issue with the title “Christian” lingering in the classification. Many people feel that they need to add the word Christian to reach the listeners that are of the Christian faith. Realistically I feel that that this could be a bad marketing idea in the long run. Yes the Christian industry is huge but look at who has their hands in most of the labels. That’s right the mainstream, earthly and ungodly record labels. Even tho it is Christian it still in the world. I never said that Christian music should not be in the market. All I am saying let metal be metal and rap be rap.

Bands such as For Today, Skillet, Thousand Foot Krutch and Brian HEAD Welch’s band Love and Death are known as Christian artists and have mad respect in their categories for the most part. Why is this? Is it because they are labeled as a Christian band or is it because their lyrics and actions sale the music? I believe it is a little of both. All of these bands except Love and Death started out at the bottom sacrificing so much to live their dreams of reaching people. They brought a message of love to a lost and hurting world. They used Christianity as their outlet to do so. Skillet and TFK were two of the most popular bands in the Christian market when I was a DJ. They played some of the best shows I had ever seen yet many of my friends did not know who they were. After a lot of blood, sweat and tears they became recognized by the mainstream labels which meant better venues and better publicity.

For Today also started of small when they were signed to Facedown Records. They toured with all types of rock and metal bands. Everywhere they performed they always had a message before, during and after their set. I had the privilege of hosting For Today along with A Plea for Purging and War of Ages about 5 years ago with my friends Sean and Joe back in Klamath Falls, Oregon. That show was amazing. When For Today hit the stage one of the band members started talking about life and Jesus Christ. Some of the kids in the pit were yelling things like ‘hail Satan” and “God sucks” and others were clapping and cheering him on. This is the reason why CHRISTIAN music should be around. Not to make money but to be a light in the places that are dark. I know that some of the kids were doing it because they wanted to be stupid but it was also a cry for help. Which I know that this is why bands like For Today are around. To be a positive role model in a music scene that sometimes has a lot of negative. 

So when the news broke awhile back about what happened with Tim Lambesis I was like most people that have been a apart of the Christian Metal. What he did gave Christianity another punch in the face. The Christian faith has enough flack as it is. We really did not need this. More importantly his family didn’t need this. His actions will be pin pointed as a reason why Christians are fake in their faith. People need to realize that we are all human and make stupid choices regardless who we call god.  

So what are your thoughts? Should music just be music? Would you listen to Christian Country, Christian EDM or even Christian Classical? Should artists drop the Christian title like Switch Foot did and keep on with their message? I am not saying there should not be any style of music called Christian. That is what Contemporary Christian Music is for. The slow stuff like Casting Crowns, Thirday and Newsboys. Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment! 

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Old School Journal Entries

I decided to post some of my hand written journal entries that I started when I first moved to Charlotte, NC. I hope that this blog will give you an idea of what kind of person I am. Thank you for taking the time to read this and other blog posts. Please if you like any of my content please subscribe to The Book of Stevo. Thank you!

 

10/17/13

So it is our first day here in Charlotte, North Carolina. This city is so nice. It would be better if I wasn’t so sick. People here are so nice. Rent a Center and Time Warner Cable showed up at the same time. All three of the employees were very nice and shot the breeze with us. Our plan is to visit downtown Charlotte tomorrow. The only real downside to our place is that we live next to a very active train track. I cannot wait to finish my school work. I may have to restart due to the move. God has really had His hand in our move.

11/03/13

Ok. It has been longer than I wanted since my last post. Church is good. We are LDS. We have decided once we came out to North Carolina we would try it one more time. I mean a few weeks before we moved from Klamath we attended our Ward and Faith Tabernacle. We really did not want to church shop. We have noticed that there are so many churches in Charlotte. People here are so nice. People from our Ward have given us a lot of things that we needed since we moved here only in our Jeep Cherokee. I am still unsure about Joseph Smith being a prophet but I am sure that the church is truly of the Christian faith. Many churches do not have the traits that our church has. School is going well. I am at the end of week one and class number two.

The class is called Phycology of Play and I am starting to wonder what I gotten into. I just want to start working in the sport field. These classes are so dull. I feel that these classes are for kids’ right out of high school. I mean I know that many of the students are fresh out of high school but there are many students like myself that are older. The way the classes seem to be presented seem to be on a lower level. I am thankful for this due to my learning style but I am paying more for these classes than I did while attending Warner Pacific College. I believe Warner was a lot more changing than Full Sail University. Maybe this is because Warner was a religious school? Well time to cook dinner.

11/26/13

Once again it has been awhile. This is the week of Thanksgiving. Starting today I will use my journal as a place to log my reading notes. I am excited to be able to look back at this and see all that I have learned about the LDS faith along with how my spiritual walk has grown. I will start with some teaching from Joseph Smith. He teaches that 3 Nephi 11:14-17 says that when Christ returns the nail scars will be a witness agents the Jews and their fathers of their stubbornness for not following Him. So to me Joseph Smith felt that the Jews who sent Jesus to the cross and not the Romans. This is crazy because I have noticed that many people to this day feel the same way.

11/28/13

Today is Thanksgiving Day. Andrea cooked her first turkey ever and it was amazing. We also had the missionaries over for dinner. I watched a few videos today about Free Masonry. I like to watch things like this and the illuminati. As I was watching these videos the spirit hit me with a question. Did Joseph Smith know about the plans about the New World Order that the Free Masons and illuminati were coming planning? There is a lot of documentations online that support Joseph Smith was a Master Mason and reached the highest degree within a short period of time. Why would he then turn around and leave to continue pursuing the path God had given him? So I Google searched Joseph Smith Illuminati and sure enough I was not the only one who thought it.

One video really stood out to me. This video mentioned that at one time Mormons could not Free Masonry and Masons could not join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This person brought up a good question. Did Joseph Smith leave the Masons because he wanted nothing to do with the illuminati or was he one of the key people they were going to use pull Christians away from the common Christian views and practices? All that I can say is that the time periods are dead on from when Joseph Smith left the Masons and introduced key parts of temple endowments which some say are a lot like Mason practices. After doing some LDS church history I cannot see Joseph Smith leading people down a road of persecution and being forced out of cities and states. Joseph Smith even went through a lot of personal hell because of the things he was teachings. You would think that if he really didn’t think what he was teaching was truth he would have stopped and he could have prevented his young death. Maybe the leech mobs wanted him dead because he knew what the government was up to.

 

 

 

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Female Priesthood Holders…..

The LDS church have been asked by various people in the media what the disciplinary actions were going to be for the protesters. Here is the official statement from mormonnewsroom.org  

Since many of my blogs have to do with the Latter Day Saints I feel that it is my turn to share my thoughts on this idea of women being able to hold the priesthood. I really do not understand what the big deal is. I mean I have only been a member of the church for about 2 years now. I really did not know this was a true issue until the last few General Conferences where church leaders have spent some time on the subject. In the HBO series Big Love, Bill’s first wife Barb really felt that she should hold the priesthood and this was the first time I had really heard about women wanting to be able to have the priesthood. I mean there is a lot that women can do within the church.

Also if a woman is married then she also already has the priesthood in regards to the fact that when husband and wife become one they share in everything. I would understand if this was about women being able to preach, teach and hold offices within the church but this is not the case in the LDS church. All members are called to be missionaries. Women have many roles within the church. If they really feel that they need this then I agree with a comment made in a Facebook post I saw which says ” If you truly believed that the church was run by men called of God who work with God, you wouldn’t feel the need to change anything” 

So these protesters are making a name for themselves but what they fail to understand is that they have been giving the LDS church negative news exposure. We have enough of that already with out these ladies going to the New Your Times trying to get their story heard. What in the world do they think the New Your Times is going to be able to do? I mean will all of this bull butter change God’s mind to ordain women as priests? I believe they have gone to the wrong place to get their answers. These gals should take the advice of their local church leaders I mean come on that is why they are there in the first place. 

I invite you to read the article I have linked at the top of this page and then comment about it and anything else you would like below. In the article the church states how they will handle these protesters. Do you think they are too harsh or is the church leadership right on? They have been asked many times to not protest yet they do. Thanks for taking the time to read The Book of Stevo Blog! 

 

Godspeed,

Brother Stevo-

 

 

 

 

 

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The LDS Life

I never really thought I would live anywhere other than Oklahoma. I was one of those people that thought I would have gotten married and lived in Yukon. I also thought that my kids would go to the same schools I went to and maybe even have some of the same teachers I did.        Also I never really thought of myself attending the Latter Day Saint church let alone living in Oregon and now North Carolina. Don’t get me wrong. I would never change my life when it comes to where I have lived. When I moved to Oregon God really did a lot of changes in my life even before joining the Mormon Church. I learned a lot myself and how to channel my true self. No I did not become a hippie even though when I first moved to Portland my studio apartment was right on Alberta Street smack dab in the middle of what I called the upscale hippie district.

               What I mean by that is I was able to learn a lot about myself. There was a personality that was just waiting to burst out. My shyness was ready to break away but didn’t have the outlet to until I moved to Portland. The friends I made in the first month or so really had a hand in releasing my true personality. Let me just put it this way. Everyone I had interacted with were students at Warner Pacific College which is a Christian based college. There were so many different people that attended the school. I have lost connection with many of the friends I had made there but I still have a few amazing friends that I talk to still today.

               Then there are the friends that I made in Klamath Falls working for Fred Meyer. Oh the memories I have at that store. I have so many friends from Fred Meyer and I still talk to a lot of them. I really thought that I was going to work there forever mostly because of the family like structure that employees had for one another. Then life happens and you move on to crazier things. Kind of like moving on to a new adventure in your faith. Being a Mormon has been great for the most part. There are some things I wish I didn’t have to change because of it. I am a big sweet tea and iced coffee person. Now that I have moved to a place where sweet tea is the official drink I am not allowed to have it.

               If you did not know, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints have a section in one of their sacred works called Doctrines and Covenants that contains what the church calls the Word of Wisdom. This section of D&C talks about how to take care of the body. The basic premise behind it is that our bodies are the Lord’s temple and we should be careful about what we put into it. Mormon’s are called not to drink hot drinks such as tea and coffee. Also they are asked to eat meat sparingly. You may think these thing are crazy but have you ever hear of Lent? Mormon’s practice Lent 365 days a year. Lent is a religious practice that is observed by many Christians starting on Ash Wednesday and goes until Easter Sunday. It is a time for one to prepare themselves for Easter.

               Many people fast meat which is why you see so many fast food chains and grocery stores focus on marketing fish. The reason for Lent is to take x amount of time fasting from something to be closer to God. This is another reason why Mormons do not drink tea or coffee. These are the things Mormons are asked to not partake in to show obedience kind of like how Jewish people have kosher laws for cooking. Now I will admit I have not been perfect in observing the Word of Wisdom especially when we lived in Oregon and Dutch Bros and Pete’s Coffee and Tea was consumed on the regular basis. This is one of the many practices that a Mormon has been called to do as a member of the church.

               Now before I go into more practices of the church I would like to speak to the people that think that the LDS church does not believe in the same Jesus Christ and God as other churches do. The founder and prophet of the church Joseph Smith was asked to provide what the church believed in and publish it into the newspaper. So he wrote what is now known as the 13 Articles of Faith. In these articles Joseph Smith lays out what the church believes. This is from the houses mouth so to speak. I will break down these 13 articles and paraphrase them.

  1. The church believes in God, the Eternal Father, his son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. 4
  2. The church believes that everyone will be judged for their own sins and not for the original sin of Adam.
  3. The church believes that only Jesus Christ can atone for the sins of man and can truly repent and learn how to live the way God wants us to live.
  4. The church views that these are the ordinances and principles of the gospel. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, second repentance; third, Baptism by immerging for the remission of sins; forth, the laying on of hands to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
  5. Man must be called by God through prophecy by men that have authority to do so to preach the gospel and partake in ordnances.
  6. The church believes in the structure as the original church with offices such as apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so on.
  7. The church believes in the speaking in tongues, prophecies, revelations, visions, healings, and interpretation of tongues.
  8. The church believes that The Bible is the word of God as long as it is translated correctly. The church also has a book called The Book of Mormon which is another testament of Jesus Christ.
  9. The church believes that God has reviled things to people and will continue to do so until the second coming of Jesus Christ.
  10. The church believes in the gathering of the 10 tribes of Israel. The church also believes that Zion will be built upon the earth and Jesus Christ will reign forever and the earth will be renewed.
  11. The church respects the rights of everyone to worship wherever and however they feel and worships God within their own consciences.
  12. The church believes in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and other authorities. The church also believes in observing the laws of the land.
  13. The church believes that members should be honest with the dealing of people and observing the golden rule.

               So after reading over all of these do you think the Mormon Church is still not Christian? I mean all of these things scream Christ like to me. Now that I have touched on the core believes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints let us move on to some of the stuff that people either take out of context or just plan do not understand. I will start with polygamy. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do not observe this practice anymore. There are churches of the LDS faith that still observe this practice but are not a part of main church. They are not allowed to go to the temple because they left the church because of the practice.

                Ah yes the LDS Temples. Let me educate you on the temples. They are beautiful to look at and when one is completely built the general public is invited to the open house before it is dedicated. What do you mean by dedicated? I am glad you asked. The LDS Temples are a place where Mormons with a temple recommend can go and perform ordinances. I will touch on these in a little bit. The temples are viewed as a heaven on earth. Some say it is the greatest place to feel the presence of God. Only members of the church with a temple recommend can attend these temples after they are dedicated to God. It is kind of like the temples back in Biblical times. You could not go into the Holy of Holies or the place where the spirit of God was unless you were a priest. Since the church believes that the temples are where God dwells only people that are in good standings and following the commandments of God can attend.

               Now I am sure you have a lot of questions about what I have just said. Feel free to contact me and I would love to answer any questions you may have. I am sure one of your questions are what are ordnances? This is one of the questions I will answer now. The LDS Temples are used to perform proxy baptism which is baptizing in place of someone that has passed away. The church believes that after this life there is a holding place where we live until the return of Jesus Christ. In this place it will be a lot like living on earth but only living as our spirits. If we do not become members of the Mormon Church we get a second chance in the next place. The members that pass away here do mission work there. There needs to be a baptism to jump start the membership into the church here so there needs to be a baptism for them there.  

               Now there are other things that are done in the temple called endowments. These are pretty much covenants that are made between you and God. I wish I could tell you everything that goes on during this process but I have only been there once and that was for baptism for the dead. Even If I had been through the rest of the temple and done everything I could not tell you because it’s kind of like Fight Club. The first rule about Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.  I mean you don’t even talk about it to members of the church outside of the temple. It’s a hardcore thing we have going on. I have my own ideas based on what I have seen online but out of respect of my fellow Mormons I will not go into what I know.

               There is one other key use of the temple which is being sealed to your husband or wife. This is different than being married. This is the process where you comment yourself to your other half for all eternity. This is the key part to live in highest glory with God after the second coming. Highest glory? What are you talking about Stevo? Well the church believe that there are 3 degrees of Glory. Celestial Kingdom is the highest degree where God and Jesus Christ live forever. The Terrestrial Kingdom is the middle level where people that know of God but didn’t truly live for God. Then there is the Telestial Kingdom which is the lowest level where anyone that has rejected God and the gospel will live forever. God and Jesus can visit the other Kingdoms but people living there cannot. I have been told that this also applies to seeing friends and family but I do not think that is taught by the church.

               Now that I have talked about the temple let me clear up the Secret Magical Mormon Underwear thing. Yes there are garments that temple goers ware that help them remind them of their covenants that they have made to God. It may sound funny but how dedicated are Mormons? I mean they talk the talk and walk the walk. They try to do the best they can with what they know. At the end of the day that is what all of us are trying to do. So the next time you feel that you want to bash a Mormon try talking to them about what they believe. Also think about how dedicated are you in what you believe? Do you like it when someone bashes something you believe or like? If you do then I would recommend rethinking about things.

               The church also does fast offering on the first Sunday of the month. The money from the offering goes to help members in time of need with things such as food and assistances with housing bills. The church also uses that money to donate funds to various charities like The Salvation Army. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints really do what the church is called to do. Are we perfect? No. Out of all of the churches I have ever been a part of this church is the one that does what is asked of by God. There is no paid minister. Yes you heard me right. No one is collecting a paycheck to teach or lead people. It is just a calling that people get from the priesthood of the church.

               The only people that get paid are the ones that do the keep up of the church buildings and temples. People also go out during the week and visit families in the church which is mixed of active attending members and ones that are less active. This is the chance where church members check in with people to see how they are doing and see if they are in need of anything. If you attend church I have one question to leave you with and that is what does your church do to become more like Jesus Christ and the church He started?

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Christian Metal Will Never Die!

 I feel that I need to take a break from that and talk about my experiences as a Christian Radio Disc Jockey and concert promoter. I have had many people tell me that I should write a book about my life as a DJ and promoter. I really didn’t think that would sale very well by its self. Since this book is also about my life I will talk about my amazing, once in a life time experiences. Let me take you back to the summer of 1998. My close friend Jason invited me to go to his church youth group called Oneighty. I thought to myself it wouldn’t hurt to return to a youth group. When I arrived I walked into the building and saw something that I had never seen before. It was a whole church building concerted into a youth group church. It was amazing.

It felt like being in an Applebee’s or Chili’s but in a church setting. The walls had all kinds of random stuff on it. Then we went into the main room which was the sanctuary. There were video games, a basketball cage, a stage and a sound booth. I felt like I was in a dream. Jason introduced me to the person that got me into the music scene. His name was Ron. He was the assistant youth pastor but he also was a drummer and worked for a concert promotion team. I slowly worked my way into running the board and projecting the lyrics during praise and worship. Because Ron was well known in OKC he was able to pick up some smaller tours and host them at the youth center. So I became Ron’s side kick and learned the tricks of the trade. The first show that I was a part of was an off date for the Extreme Days movie promotion tour.

We hosted Bean Bag, KJ-52 and the Manna Skate Team. Right before the tour hit Ron asked me if my parents would not mind letting the skate team stay the night at our house. So I talked it over with my family and they were ok with it. So we promoted the heck out of the concert and then it was game day. The tour rolled in and I was excited. This was the first tour I had ever worked with as a staff member so I was stoked. After Ron got to talking to the Manna Skate team he found out that they didn’t need a place to stay after all. Then he asked me if it was ok for KJ-52, his wife and MC to stay the night at my house. I had to check to see if I needed new pants after that. So they ended up staying at my house. It was awesome. They had breakfast with my mom and dad and then we went to church together. Can you believe that?  I loved KJ and this was when he had just released his first album.

After that tour I worked a few tours with Ron and I also felt that I wanted to connect with local artists and try to help them with promotion. I got to know a lot of bands such as Eternal Decision, Sub Seven and my favorite Gears of Redemption just to name a few. I sent e mails out on my Web TV to local artists. Yeah I said WebTV. If you do not know what that is feel free to Google it. I was working graveyard at Wal-Mart so I loved to sleep in. I got home one morning and went to sleep. Then around 930 AM my phone rang and it woke me up. I was upset and I answered the phone with a upset groggy tone in my voice and said hello. The voice on the like said hello my name is Kael and I am with the band Pillar.

I instantly woke up like I had just had a pot of coffee. I was shocked because they had just moved to Tulsa because they were signed to Flicker Records and wanted to be close to their management.  I had known about them before they were signed because of Ron. I had their demo and everything. Well they wanted to set up a show in Yukon and wanted to know if I would host it. I told him I would love to and I would talk to my church. I went to Ron with this and he was stoked. SO I sent Kael the deposit for the tour and let Ron handle the business part of it. His band was opening for the show along with Radial Angel so I was going to be the venue manager. I was only 18 and it was my first time to run a show. It was a great experience.

Before and after this show I had the opportunity to hang out with a lot of bands. Even with some of my favorite bands such as Pillar, Spoken, Disciple, Bean Bag and East West. Along with this amazing experience was doing what many in life cannot say that had done. I achieved my goal after high school which was to be a DJ at the Christian radio station KOKF 91 FM in Oklahoma City. I remember in school when my teacher asked all of us what we wanted to do that was my answer. I did not have any plans to go to college. Well my senior year at Yukon High School 91FM was advertising that they were looking for volunteers to help out at the station. So I applied and about a week later I received a phone call from the station. I set up a interview to come in and talk to the staff. I was so excited. I remember it like it was yesterday,

It was a Wednesday afternoon interview. I had to get done with it and rush to church.  I arrived at the station and walked up to the door and rang the buzzer. Then someone opened the door and let me in. They welcomed me and asked me to sit in the waiting room. I sat down and there was one other guy in the room waiting for a interview. He asked me what kind of station it was. I told him it was a Christian radio station. He was shocked. He asked because he had never heard of any of the artist’s radio plaques. I mean there were Jennifer Knapp, DC Talk and Audio Adrenaline on the walls. Who didn’t know who these artists were? Well he had experience at other mainstream stations and was just looking to get another spot on his resume. He cussed a few times then he apologized. I told him I didn’t care but he should refrain from using it during the interview.

Then they called him into the interview and I waited in the room. I was star struck because of all the music posters and such on the walls. Then a few minutes later the door opens and they invite me back into the main part of the station. I was so blown away to be in the station. I walked by Vern Marks’ office and he waived at me. He was blaring Gospel Gangstas and the other interviewer asked him who it was. He said that he had never heard Christian music like that. Then I went in and had my interview and told them about what I did at Oneighty and that I wanted to work my way up to become a staff member someday. They told me that they were going to choose one person out of four people to be their new volunteer and that they would contact me soon to let me know what their decision was.

So I went out to my truck and I was so excited. I get into my truck and doesn’t start. I was so beside myself because I needed to get to church. I was asking myself why this happening to me. I did not want to make a bad impression and go ask to use their phone to call my dad. This is when cell phones were just getting out into the public and they were hard to come by. It was a good thing I didn’t have one because the guy came out from his interview and he asked me what the name of the rap group was that was playing in the station and I told him. He asked where he could get their music and I told him Mardel or Family Christian Stores. Then It dawned on my that I had one of their albums in my truck. So I gave it to him and he was blown away that I would give him a CD. He said thank you and he went on his way. Now I had to suck up my pride and go ask to use the phone.

So I walk up to the radio station and pushed the buzzer. The person that did my interview answered the door. I told her what had happened and I asked if I could use the phone. She was very nice and let me back into the radio station. As we were walking back to the kitchen to use the phone she said that it was funny that I was there because they had decided to bring me on as an office volunteer. I know I had to be grinning from ear to ear. I contacted my dad and came by and helped me get my truck running. So from that day I worked my way up from working in the office to learning how to operate the on air studio board. That was all fun and games until one day I was running the board and there were school closings because of a snow storm. I was feeling in for a DJ that day. I asked Vern if he wanted me to give it a shot and go live on the air to announce the school closings. He said it was my time to give it a try. So I did. I worked up my confidence and faded out the song at the end of the track and punched the on air button and started to talk.

Hit music radio 91 FM. That was so and so artist. There are some school closings in the Oklahoma City area and I rattled them off. Then I ended to segment and went back to the music. While I was talking I had never in my life felt so nervous. I know I had a hard time catching my breath and my legs were shaking. When I got off the air I could hear Vern in the production yelling yeah boy! I was feel if adrenaline and felt like I could take on the world. That was one of my favorite times in life being a DJ. I went on to become a DJ on the overnight metal show Nitetime 91 which played bands like Zao, Living Sacrifice, Klank and Demon Hunter. This is funny because Jason had been trying to get me to like metal and I told him it was not my thing and I ended up loving it.

While my time at the radio station I get to meet a lot of amazing people. One of them that I am still friends with is DJ Matt Lindsey. He is the owner of Overtone Media based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. When we were at the radio station he brought in many tours with Overtone and had 91FM as the promotional tool and backing staff for the events. So I was able to learn a lot from him by working on staff during concerts. Out of all of the bands we brought in Five Iron Frenzy was by far my favorite to work with. I love these guys. No matter what kind of day I am having I can listen to some FIF and my day changes for the better. There was one tour that we hosted them along with Reliant K, John Ruben and Ace Troubleshooter. I will never forget that show. Members of Reliant K almost didn’t make the show because they were sent to the OKC police department because they had somehow found a body around a bus in Downtown OKC.

I guess the only other artist I would like to talk about is the amazing TobyMac. If you don’t know his name you may know the group he was with. He was the hip hop section for DC Talk. He is one of the most down to earth people you will ever meet. Every time I have had a chance to work with him he was always down to earth and would even chat with me for a few minutes. There is however some artists that I have had opposite reactions to but out of respect I will not throw names out in this book. I do understand that artists have demands and tour life can be rough on people. Now my post DJ experiences have been amazing too. I have been able to see KJ 52 again in Oregon. It was awesome because it was with Disciple, Superchick and a few others. I worked Disciples table and broke a record for most albums sold before the show started. One of the wife’s had to go get more CDs from the van. It pays to have a long time fan working for you. 

Well after KJ’s set he came out and did autographs. Since I was working at a table I was close to his and someone game me a break to go meet up with him. So I waited in line with my friend Josh and when we got to him I said hey KJ. Do you remember me? He looked at me and said you do look familiar. I told him I was from Oklahoma City and I worked for 91FM. He then reacted in shock and said yes I remember I stayed at your house and had breakfast with your family. I was so stoked that he remembered me from almost ten years ago. We talked about the radio station and about how it was sold to Air 1. I then told him I didn’t want to keep his fans waiting so I would see him next time. He said no they can wait you have up your room for me and my wife to sleep in. I was embraced because the kid next to us heard what he said. I felt very important because he had said that. I was blessed in that moment.

The last artist I am going to end this chapter with is the amazing Brian Head Welch. I was looking on Myspace one day and found a group of people in the Chicago area that healed metal crusades. I am talking about events like Billy Graham crusades but with metal bands performing. This is the kind of stuff I wanted to jump start but didn’t know how to. So I got a wild hair and send them a message telling them I wanted to do events like they were. I even told them that if they ever wanted to come to Oregon that I would love to host them. I never expected a response but guess what. They ended up wanting to come out to little old Klamath Falls. When they told me that they contracted Brian Head Welch I was blown away. So I started hunting down a band I loved that regrouped in California called Fasedown which has members from Deliverance, The Crucified and Overcome.

So from this event I was able to see Fasedown and Brian Head Welch. One of my favorite events of all time because I got to hang out with Brian Head Welch, help witness to the metal scene in Klamath Falls and unite people. My good friend Haywood went to school with Brian Head Welch in California and they reunited like it was old times. The next time Welch came through Oregon my friend Haywood got to hang out with him there too.  Out of all of the things that went on that day I heard something that to this day burns inside me. I had three different people come up to me and said that if church was more like this I would go. Two of the people were not even Christian to my knowledge. I am starting to wonder if writing this book is one of the way I would be able to jump start a ministry like that. I feel that I am to take everything I have learned over the years and start speaking at events and who knows maybe start up my own underground evangelist ministry right here in Charlotte, North Carolina in Billy Graham territory. Wouldn’t that be a culture shock? A Latter Day Saint Mormon holding Metal conferences in the Bible belt. 

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How to Draw your Family Close Again.

Do you ever feel like your family is falling .apart? The family unit has a lot of demands no matter what age the family member is. Who has time to sit at the table for dinner anymore? Work, school, sports and yes even video games can be hard to get away from for various reasons. In the spring of 1915 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints sent out a letter to local families to encourage a church wide day once a week to bring the family together.

Then in 1970 President of the church Joseph Fielding Smith designated every Monday to be the official day of the week for Family Home Evening. This does not mean that it cannot be done on another night or more than one day a week. I have a friend that no longer claims to be of the Christian faith. She like to take from different religions and apply them to her life and she holds Family Home Evening almost every week. Now I am sure you are asking what you do during Family Home Evening. Well there is really no right or wrong answer.

The center of Family Home Evening is to bring the family together for a time to pray and read the scriptures. Many families hold it after dinner so a lot of times there is a dessert after everything is said and done. Some families play games or watch movies. Even if you do not claim a religion it is always a good thing to bring the family together. The Latter Day Saints believe that the most important teachings that a child will learn about life and faith is in the home. I believe this to be true. My mother and grandma raised me to know who God and Jesus Christ were. They always told me that I should always think about how God would feel if I were to do something wrong. Many years before my mother passed away she wrote a message to me and placed it inside her Bible for me to read once she has passed away.

I didn’t know about this letter until a few weeks after her passing. I opened up her Bible cover and an envelope fell out that was addressed to me. I opened up and began to read it.  To sum up the letter she said that she was very proud of the young man that I turned out to be and she knew it was because of the faith she had is Jesus Christ. She also said that my path to my personal salvation was up to me and I could not gain it because of my mom’s faith. I had to develop my own testament of His redeeming love. This is the kind of talks my mother and I had for as long as I can remember. So I can testify that this church doctrine is true and I believe everyone should apply it to their family. If you are single you can invite friends over or if you are married or dating find others to enjoy their company and grow relationships.

I feel that if families with children were to hold Family Home Evening it would help the overall future of not only this country but the entire world. If children are raised with positive morals in the home they will have a better chance of carrying them over into adult hood. When I was a kid video games started having game ratings just like movies did. I will always remember when the game Mortal Kombat came out on SNES. I wanted to rent it so I went to Blockbuster to rent it. I was so happy to find that they still had copies or it. I snagged a copy and took it to the counter to rent it.

Have you ever seen the South Park Movie, Bigger, Louder and Uncut? Remember the beginning when they are singing the opening number and they go up to the ticket booth and say with excitement “we want five tickets to see Asses of Fire please” and the attendant very firmly says “No”? Well that is pretty much what happened to me. They said I had to be 17 to rent the game. So I got into my car and went home and told my mom. I will never forget this. She went back to blockbuster by herself and rented it for me.

You might be thinking that could have been the wrong move for a caring parent to do. The difference was she trusted me and knew that I understood the difference between right and wrong. What I saw on TV, movies and video games was just for entertainment only. Besides when I showed my mom how much blood and gore was actually in the game she was shocked to find out there was hardly any bad content. I am saying this because I believe that in a lot of cases where people act out what they see in entertainment in a negative way it is because they feel that they want the on screen experience in a real life setting.

 In some cases it is just that the person feels left out and becomes controlled by what they see and want to act it out. Again I feel that if the family unit is strong, loving and supportive there will be less issues with shootings, stabbings, killings and what not. No, Family Home Evening is not the cure for the world’s problems but it can help improve them. Now I am going to go and play Grand Theft Auto Vice City on my PlayStation.