inked blog

 Coley - He barrel-rolled 2 trucks in one year. In May 2006, he rolled his S10 3 times, and on December 10, 2006, he rolled his Ranger 6-8 times. Miraculously he walked away from the first wreck and limped away from the second, even though he wasn't wearing a seatbelt in either accident. It was by the grace of God that he didn't wear one in the second accident, because the roof of his truck came down only 8 inches from the bottom of his driver's seat. He never would have gotten out if he had worn a seatbelt. He left the hospital the next day, praising God for allowing him to walk away. He remembered the Bible passage that says that his body is God's temple and to use it to praise and honor the Lord. He limped into the tattoo parlor and decided on the design for his back.  In 2012, his good friend Sydney Pepper passed away, and Coley fell out of his faith for a while. His wife convinced him to come back to church in 2015. Now he believes that the verse on his back is truer than ever. And although it's not finished yet, he loves to show it off.

Coley - He barrel-rolled 2 trucks in one year. In May 2006, he rolled his S10 3 times, and on December 10, 2006, he rolled his Ranger 6-8 times. Miraculously he walked away from the first wreck and limped away from the second, even though he wasn't wearing a seatbelt in either accident. It was by the grace of God that he didn't wear one in the second accident, because the roof of his truck came down only 8 inches from the bottom of his driver's seat. He never would have gotten out if he had worn a seatbelt. He left the hospital the next day, praising God for allowing him to walk away. He remembered the Bible passage that says that his body is God's temple and to use it to praise and honor the Lord. He limped into the tattoo parlor and decided on the design for his back. 
In 2012, his good friend Sydney Pepper passed away, and Coley fell out of his faith for a while. His wife convinced him to come back to church in 2015. Now he believes that the verse on his back is truer than ever. And although it's not finished yet, he loves to show it off.

 Jimmy - Got his tattoo in 1959 in honor of his favorite movie "The Thing That Couldn't Die." I've never seen the old black-and-white movie, but the tattoo is the pendant the leading actress wore around her neck.  Jimmy is a retired stage hand from Tennessee, who now refurbishes old washers and dryers on the side. But his full time job is taking care of his wife Becky who has leukemia, diabetes, and is blind. He spoke passionately about caring for his wife.  When I left, I was still captivated by Jimmy's passion to care for his wife and his ability to keep a washing machine alive. If I ever get a tattoo, I'm sure it will be about my hero... One who also couldn't and wouldn't die, because He wants me to have LIFE. Thanks, Jimmy, for the reminder.

Jimmy - Got his tattoo in 1959 in honor of his favorite movie "The Thing That Couldn't Die." I've never seen the old black-and-white movie, but the tattoo is the pendant the leading actress wore around her neck.

Jimmy is a retired stage hand from Tennessee, who now refurbishes old washers and dryers on the side. But his full time job is taking care of his wife Becky who has leukemia, diabetes, and is blind. He spoke passionately about caring for his wife.

When I left, I was still captivated by Jimmy's passion to care for his wife and his ability to keep a washing machine alive. If I ever get a tattoo, I'm sure it will be about my hero... One who also couldn't and wouldn't die, because He wants me to have LIFE. Thanks, Jimmy, for the reminder.

 Bruce - "Clara" was the best Grandma a person could ask for. She was the captain of unconditional love. It didn't matter what his dad or uncles would say; Grandma was always in charge. Her word was final. He decided to get a tattoo of a cross with a crown on it because his grandmother was royalty to him. She was also his rock. When she died in 1998, a piece of Bruce died too. He went on to play football at Tuskegee College as a tight end. He put the tattoo on his forearm so that every time he got down in his stance on the line, he could see Grandma's name. Her name with the crown on it would remind him of her inner strength - one that inspired and pushed him.  Stories like these continue to amaze me. The ink on the skin has a story, and each story seems to be a reminder of hope in times of battle. Jesus became flesh and then scared his flesh to remind us that the battle has already been won. All we have to do is stay down in our stance and keep our eyes fixed on Him.

Bruce - "Clara" was the best Grandma a person could ask for. She was the captain of unconditional love. It didn't matter what his dad or uncles would say; Grandma was always in charge. Her word was final. He decided to get a tattoo of a cross with a crown on it because his grandmother was royalty to him. She was also his rock. When she died in 1998, a piece of Bruce died too. He went on to play football at Tuskegee College as a tight end. He put the tattoo on his forearm so that every time he got down in his stance on the line, he could see Grandma's name. Her name with the crown on it would remind him of her inner strength - one that inspired and pushed him.

Stories like these continue to amaze me. The ink on the skin has a story, and each story seems to be a reminder of hope in times of battle. Jesus became flesh and then scared his flesh to remind us that the battle has already been won. All we have to do is stay down in our stance and keep our eyes fixed on Him.

 Lapatrick loves basketball! His tattoo represents how playing the game relieves the heaviness of the world he feels on his shoulders. He said that when he shoots, his problems are put on hold, and it's the only time he feels peace. Basketball is his only solitude away from his troubles. He's always wanted to be like Mike and Lebron James - which explains the number 23. I got to share with him about how my first world record attempt was for the same reasons. We had an awesome conversation about how recreation can take our minds off of our failures and life's expectations.  In the same way, Faith is like the invisible recreation our heart clings to when there's not a basketball around. The more I understand God's love, the less I need a basketball. But there are some days when all I can do is grab a ball and shoot. And I know God loves me anyway.

Lapatrick loves basketball! His tattoo represents how playing the game relieves the heaviness of the world he feels on his shoulders. He said that when he shoots, his problems are put on hold, and it's the only time he feels peace. Basketball is his only solitude away from his troubles. He's always wanted to be like Mike and Lebron James - which explains the number 23. I got to share with him about how my first world record attempt was for the same reasons. We had an awesome conversation about how recreation can take our minds off of our failures and life's expectations.

In the same way, Faith is like the invisible recreation our heart clings to when there's not a basketball around. The more I understand God's love, the less I need a basketball. But there are some days when all I can do is grab a ball and shoot. And I know God loves me anyway.

 This is Mary from New Jersey. She has her cat's name tattooed on her neck. She said she found Callie while she was homeless and living out of her car. Her cat is the only one who's never hurt her or abandoned her.

This is Mary from New Jersey. She has her cat's name tattooed on her neck. She said she found Callie while she was homeless and living out of her car. Her cat is the only one who's never hurt her or abandoned her.

 Corderrian is a rapper from Birmingham, Alabama. His rap name is "Regal" which means "royalty" and is why he has a crown above the C in his tattoo. He said he feels like a king when he's rapping because it's the only time his real self seems to flow out. He's going through a hard time with some family struggles right now, and he's hoping his songs get picked up by a label. I loved meeting this humble, young man.   I'm so thankful that my heritage is Royalty - from the Tribe of Judah, to be exact. Just like Corderrian, I sometimes need a mic when I'm rapping (ok...speaking) to be reminded of my King and His reign in my life. But tonight, I just needed to see some ink on my new friend Regal.

Corderrian is a rapper from Birmingham, Alabama. His rap name is "Regal" which means "royalty" and is why he has a crown above the C in his tattoo. He said he feels like a king when he's rapping because it's the only time his real self seems to flow out. He's going through a hard time with some family struggles right now, and he's hoping his songs get picked up by a label. I loved meeting this humble, young man. 

I'm so thankful that my heritage is Royalty - from the Tribe of Judah, to be exact. Just like Corderrian, I sometimes need a mic when I'm rapping (ok...speaking) to be reminded of my King and His reign in my life. But tonight, I just needed to see some ink on my new friend Regal.

 This is Sheri's. Her tattoo represents the brain aneurism and stroke she suffered 9 years ago after giving birth to her 1 week old daughter. Her story is amazing, and it gave me hope today. As Sheri said, "Everyday I wake up is a gift." People love to share their stories about their ink, and they will ask you about YOUR story too. I don't have a tattoo, but I do have a story...about One who allowed his flesh to be tattooed for me. Sheri's ink and her story gave us friendship.

This is Sheri's. Her tattoo represents the brain aneurism and stroke she suffered 9 years ago after giving birth to her 1 week old daughter. Her story is amazing, and it gave me hope today. As Sheri said, "Everyday I wake up is a gift." People love to share their stories about their ink, and they will ask you about YOUR story too. I don't have a tattoo, but I do have a story...about One who allowed his flesh to be tattooed for me. Sheri's ink and her story gave us friendship.

 Dale - had this tattoo nailed  on "old school" style when he was living and fighting in Japan. One of the earliest techniques of tattooing, it involves using a carved bamboo rake that's dipped in ink and then pounded into the flesh with a wooden mallet. As Dale says, "because it's nailed into my skin, the color won't fade." Dale lived the 90's movie "Blood Sport". He fought in underground full-contact Karate tournaments in Japan. The scoring system used during these fights was that "you only won if you knocked them unconscious." Just like in the movie, Dale still has dents in his shins from kicking the bamboo. This dude is Tong Poe in the flesh.😎Dale's ink reminds me that my sins were also pounded into His flesh, and it's His grace for me that will never fade.

Dale - had this tattoo nailed
on "old school" style when he was living and fighting in Japan. One of the earliest techniques of tattooing, it involves using a carved bamboo rake that's dipped in ink and then pounded into the flesh with a wooden mallet. As Dale says, "because it's nailed into my skin, the color won't fade." Dale lived the 90's movie "Blood Sport". He fought in underground full-contact Karate tournaments in Japan. The scoring system used during these fights was that "you only won if you knocked them unconscious." Just like in the movie, Dale still has dents in his shins from kicking the bamboo. This dude is Tong Poe in the flesh.😎Dale's ink reminds me that my sins were also pounded into His flesh, and it's His grace for me that will never fade.