Apr 30 2009


We had a great night of ministry at the Church of Grace in West Nashville tonight. We had a little Bible trivia where we named the Ten Commandments and all the children were happy to get a coin. Read more about the coins in our April 3rd. blog titled: “A Piggy Bank for God”

Apr 26 2009

Howie meets “The Maker” Augustino LoPrinzi

Augustion LoPrinzi ~ For the sound of your lifetime!Each new project I record always has a mention made of my LoPrinzi Guitar. The LR 20 has such a sweet and even tone; it truly is an integral part of my music. It all began in 1977 when I was working Sal’s Music in Wappngers Falls, NY with my two partners, Ralph and Sparky. We were LoPrinzi dealers and I would play each one that came through the door. Fine craftsmanship, design, and the wonderful sound these acoustic instruments produced was like none I had heard before. Convinced I would one day own one, the search was on for the perfect match. One day and new shipment came in. Without hesitation I unboxed  this LoPrinzi LR 20, inspected it, then sat down to listen. As the notes sang from the sound hole, my heart was captivated. This was the one I had waited, patiently, so long for. A Guild D 40 cutaway and a Takamini Jumbo were sold in order to pay for it, but I had my voice.

More than thirty years have passed since purchasing the LR20. It almost became a burnt sacrifice in 1985. I met my Lord, Jesus Christ, got out of the bar music scene, and was going to sell everything to follow Jesus. The LoPrinzi was my best, so I planned to offer it as a burnt sacrifice when I sensed God telling me to keep it. So in a very real sense, God gave me that guitar. Since then I have used it to worship my Lord, and to invite others to place their trust in Him by faith. In fact, the music coming from that guitar is far better than anything prior to that blessed day in March, 1985.

In all the years my LoPrinzi has been with me, never has anyone worked on it. It has remained a sound instrument, with no neck twisting, splitting, and only a few dings and such from road use. However, with all that playing, it has been in need of a fret job for some time. Not wanting just anyone to work on it, I was hoping that someday I’d be able to take it to the man who designed this beautiful instrument. With that purpose in mind, I called Tom LoPrinzi about 1977, the man who actually made those guitars, and asked him for his brother’s number. Then I called Augustino, who had moved his family and the business to Florida. He was so gracious and friendly, told me his daughter Donna had the business now, and we chatted quite a while. After this call I determined that somehow I would meet him, and prayed God would make the way possible.

This year, before The Great Circle Tour began, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Augie and Donna. I called Donne this spring, told her what I hoped, and she said “bring it down.” Debbie and I made the trip to Clearwater, Florida where I met these friendly luthiers. After a fine conversation with Donna, Augie set aside his gun engraving, gave me a big hug, and we had a fine time together talking shop. Man, I was impressed by the warm family-like reception I received from these two dear people. Let me tell you, it was worth waiting 31 years to have my guitar worked on. It plays better than new. One day I hope to own another LoPrinzi hand crafted by Donna. What a blessing to have met, not only a great craftsman, but also someone of such fine character. I’m truly proud to own a LoPrinzi guitar, and very blessed to have made two wonderful friends as well.

Thank you Augie and Donna. Your fine craftsmanship is surpassed only by your warm hospitality. May God grant you many prosperous years as you produce the means for music to be even sweeter!

Visit Augustino LoPrinzi’s Website at http://www.augustinoloprinzi.com/

Apr 21 2009

2 Peter 1:5-8 Part one: Virtue

Using the Vines Expository Dictionary can help create a more dynamic Bible Study experience.

The first man to disciple Howie and I, Eric Walton, put an emphasis on three tools for use during personal devotions:

  • A Thompson Chain Reference Bible,
  • The Strongs Exhaustive Concordance
  • Vines Expository Dictionary.

This morning I was thinking about the verses found in 2 Peter that tell us how to bear fruit in our Christian lives.

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful
in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.   2Pet. 1:5-8

Have you ever noticed how most people are eager to add to their faith knowledge?  But Peter tells us to add to our faith virtue. Virtue should come after faith and before adding knowledge.

So what is virtue?

arete (G703) properly denotes whatever procures preeminent estimation for a person or thing; hence, “intrinsic eminence, moral goodness, virtue,” Vines.  Wow! That is a mouthful.

Let’s define procure, preeminent and estimation then plug them in with common language.
To procure is to obtain and preeminent means superior in excellence; distinguished for something   commendable or honorable. Estimation is an opinion or judgment of the worth or a favorable opinion. Derived from Websters

Let’s rework this with some easier definition. We should add to our faith Virtue, which simply is the obtaining that which is excellent and honorable and having a judgment of worth. To me that seems like a very lofty goal to obtain, especially right after faith and before knowledge.   So how do we do that?

Comments and thoughts invited!


More on Virtue from Vines:

arete (G703) properly denotes whatever procures preeminent estimation for a person or thing; hence, “intrinsic eminence, moral goodness, virtue,” (a)  of God, 1Pe_2:9, “excellencies” (KJV, “praises”); here the original and general sense seems to be blended with the impression made on others, i.e., renown, excellence or praise (Hort); in 2Pe_1:3, “(by His own glory and) virtue,” RV (instrumental dative), i.e., the manifestation of His divine power; this significance is frequently illustrated in the papyri and was evidently common in current Greek speech; (b) of any particular moral excellence, Phi_4:8; 2Pe_1:5 (twice), where virtue is enjoined as an essential quality in the exercise of faith, RV, “(in your faith supply) virtue.”

Apr 15 2009

Resurrection Day!

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and
I will give you rest
Mat 11:28

Sometimes we find ourselves in a cycle of work where it is hard to stop and take time to rest. That is where we have been. Worn out by our search for a van and preparing to leave for the Great Circle Mission USA on Friday. But, Sunday, that was a day of blessing from the Lord.

During morning worship, Pastor Bruce talked about the napkin from our Lord’s head being folded in the tomb. According to Jewish custom that small detail is highly significant, expressing the idea that He is coming back. Oh, what joy that day will bring for us who are in Him. Jesus is coming back!

We went hiking up Sugar Hollow. It was perfect. A beautiful day sandwiched between two cloudy and rainy days. Sugar Hollow was Shea’s idea and he really enjoyed the fact that we had to ford the stream three times on the way up to the waterfall and of course three times on the way back down.

When we reached the top it was worth the hike. Falling over the mountain rocks was a beautiful waterfall, clean and cold. Below a pool formed.

Our family has always enjoyed the holidays together. One of our favorite activities is to walk through God’s creation. It is good to get out of the busyness of life and step back to really be in the moment. If you have family around, these quiet times together make those precious memories that carry us through difficult times.

After our walk we went to Shea’s place and he cooked up a fine meal. Roast chicken that was delightfully seasoned, served on a bed of crispy rice, broccoli and asparagus. YUM! Shea really knows how to cook and he is totally into the healthy food!

So now we are leaving this sweet spot on earth to begin our summer mission trip.  Please take a moment and catch the video below.

May you know Peace,

Apr 7 2009

Free Union at the Solid Rock Cafe

The Solid RockAs the saying goes:”God works in mysterious ways.” Perhaps it’s a mystery to us because God’s ways are far beyond ours. After years of praying for Waynesboro, and even attempting to make contact with the folks at the Solid Grounds coffee house, God opened the door for us last fall. This past Friday we heard, from Pastor Keith, the results of our ministry there.

Waynesboro, VA is similar to many small towns around America today. It seems the forces of darkness are stepping up their activity, manifest in increasing drug and alcohol use, witchcraft and other cultic groups, a decline in church attendance, and an increase in apostacy. However, I believe there is also a hunger on the part of young people for the truth, real relationships, meaning and purpose in life, and a desire to find hope for the future. Of course this hope is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source of all truth, and that is the heart and soul of the message we bring couched in a music setting.

Keith shares a message about Good FridayPastor Keith and Brian, the man who started the Solid Rock more than 13 years ago, both gave testimony of our effectiveness, by God’s grace. Keith told us again that the atmosphere in the place had changed since our hard hitting spiritual engagement there last Halloween. That’s right, we proclaimed the truth of Jesus Christ at the Solid Rock on the enemy’s favorite holiday. Last night, as Keith brought a short message, followed by Brian’s encouraging word, the young folks sat with rapt attention to hear the Good News of Jesus. Many young people came up to us saying how much they liked what we were doing, enjoying the music, and listening to God’s Word in the lyrics. What a blessing!

Debbie, Howie, Brian, Dale, Keith, Laura
Debbie, Howie, Brian, Dale, Keith and Laura

Imagine that, all of us in the band Friday night were over 30, (some of us way past, ha ha), but the kids loved it. One young man even wants to be on our mailing list. Praise God! He knows what He’s doing, The time is right for us to prevail against the gates of hell, proclaiming liberty to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind. Jesus said His words are spirit and they are life. We will continue to present the message of life so long as God allows it.

Howie the guitar man

Apr 3 2009

A Piggy Bank for God!

Joshua has a job feeding his neighbors cat, and he is learning responsibility.

There are a lot of very special people in our lives and I would like to tell you about Joshua. The really cool part that Joshua has in this ministry is his sensitivity to prayer. His parents tell me that often they will be doing routine things during the day when out of the blue Joshua will suddenly say: “We need to pray for Howie and Debbie, right now”. Then he prays.

So back to Joshua’s piggy bank
Piggy Bank for God

Joshua has a job feeding the neighbors cat which is teaching him responsibility, and he is learning to tithe as well. He had this idea to start a Piggy Bank for God. His grandmother brought him a cute yellow pig that has no opening to take the money out. Perfect! Diligently he put in his pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters each time he got paid, and the bank began to fill up.

Joshua and DebbieLast night I was at a Bible Study with his mom when Josh came running up so excited to show me his piggy bank, telling me the story of how it’s his “Piggy Bank for God”. Then he hands it to me and says, “Here, this is for you and Howie because you’re missionaries”.

I can’t quite describe to you the feeling I got, but it was like an overwhelming sense of responsibility having been given this treasure. Immediately I prayed and said “Lord, what would you have this money used for?” Immediately I remembered something from last summer.

Ten Commandments CoinAs we travel we love to have things to give to children. It helps them remember what they have heard and most children love little treasures. Last year we found The Ten Commandments Coin sold by Living Waters, a ministry of Ray Comfort. This is perfect to share with the children we meet while ministering throughout these United States.

So Young Joshua will be sharing an important part of the Word of God with hundreds of children across America this summer
becausehe was faithful to fill a Piggy Bank for God.

Thank you Josh!

Ten Commandments are found in Exodus 20
And God spake all these words, saying, I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.
  10. Thou shalt not covet