Chapter 25

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The scariest moment on the Rocketboy tour had to do with a gun.

The Bride / Rocketboy tour was as we call in Kentucky "a real hoot." Scottie
Hoaglan, our "fill-in guitarist," was hilarious. There was no way to
describe his driving, or the armadillo call that he would make. But one
story comes to mind that can be explained.

While driving on the Interstate well into the tour, Scottie was sitting in
the front passenger's seat. He was bored, so he thought he would serenade us
with a little picking. He asked for someone in the back to hand him his
guitar. The guitar was promptly handed to him and Scottie commenced
strumming away. No one thought anything of it; this is what guitarist
sometimes do.

Our tour van was one of those huge 15 passenger deals with tinted windows.
The licenses plate was in the rear window, and was hardly visible because of
the darkness of the glass. In other words, for passing motorists it was hard
to see clearly into our van. Reminds me of the Old Testament (types and

We had traveled a pretty good ways when nature called, and we stopped at a
friendly looking exit. We pulled up to a convenience store next to a carload
of young teenagers wearing all black. A couple of them had concert shirts
on. They were trying to look really scary as they just sat in the car with
the doors opened. I assume they were eating whatever they had just purchased
from inside the store. They gave us strange looks as we climbed out of this
jammed, packed van. Normally we would have to climb over lots of baggage to
just get out of the vehicle. We climbed down and stood for a second or two
stretching our legs.

I was one of the first to venture into the store. There I bought the usual:
a drink, chips, browsed the isle for something new, (which I could never
find) and I bought some side walk chalk to take home to my son after the
tour ended. As I departed the store, I noticed someone walking close behind
me. I really was still in a daze from just being "mind locked" in the van
for so long, so I paid little attention. Then, all of the sudden, I noticed
the person walking behind me had a badge.

The first thought that ran through my head was, "this is store security, and
he is coming to check my bag to make sure I am not shoplifting." The thought
of such an accusation offended me. "I bought this chalk, I have a receipt,"
I thought to myself. Then I heard a voice say "Stop!"

I suddenly became aware of my surroundings, which, it occurred to me, looked
very peculiar. We were surrounded! It was not a store bought wanna' be cop,
it was the State Police with plenty of local backup. The parking lot was
full of cops. The road in and out was blocked by police, and our van was
surrounded. I thought, "over a bag of chalk? I paid for it there is nothing
they can do," I began to convince myself. "Did the clerk put the receipt in
my bag?" I asked myself.

The teens in the car next to our now seized van looked frightened. They
thought they were spooky, now the whole law enforcement of the state had
converged on our van. The spooky "all dressed in black youth" gingerly
pulled away. They wanted no part of whatever was about to go down.

The police asked if they could check our van. Troy said yes and a police
officer began prowling around. It seemed that a woman who had passed us on
the highway had reported that a van fitting our description, without a
license plate, had occupants inside who were passing rifles around. The
police were looking for a gun.

I thought, "My goodness, I have a gun, a pistol, in my bag." I prayed they
would not find it. After a quick search, Troy explained that the woman must
have seen us pass Scottie his guitar and assumed it was a gun; and as for a
license plate, well, we had one, it was just difficult to see in that tinted
window. The police were satisfied, (good thing they didn't find my pistol),
but they were looking for a long rifle. They said we could go,and we did,
restricting Scottie's "in-the-van guitar playing" to the back seat.

WHY isn't Bride playing my Hometown?

People throughout the years have asked us why we haven't come to their town
or city? Some think that we deliberately avoid their areas. The truth of the
matter is, Bride would have played non-stop every day if there was interest
and support. In the minds of many, Bride was larger than life. Many viewed
the band as rock stars, living like kings surrounded by wealth and no want.

However, the grim reality is that the band had no ability, power or in road
to tour at will. First, there was never enough competent promoters, nor
general interest by sponsors. Record Labels seemed helpless to get us on big
tours with more well known bands. As much as Bride desired to tour and to
introduce Christ to those we met on the road, the opportunities were not
there. From the first day Bride came into existence until the present, the
struggle has always existed. There was a reason for this that would not be
revealed to me until years later. In the meantime, we just followed the
leading of the Holy Spirit; "for who hath resisted His will?"

The Word of God speaks over and over the sublime truth that "His mercy
endureth for ever," with out one word to the contrary. I would soon learn
the ultimate purpose of God and His will in my life. I understood that
Christ is the provision for all things in my life, but I was not living
within the realm to benefit totally from these provisions. Living outside
the realm among the shadows, much of His blueprint for my life was unclear.
Yet I knew deep within my spirit there was a higher purpose out of reach of
conventional carnal thinking.

Cornerstone 1997

We had not been invited to Cornerstone in 3 years, and this year would be no
exception. Steve said they thought we would be dead by now, but were like
roaches, "we can't die." I was beginning to feel like an unwanted insect.
Organic managed to secure a spot for us on a stage, which they had reserved
for their artists, and Doug Van Pelt from HM magazine gave us a spot in his
tent. Both shows came back to back on Sunday, which is the last day of the
festival, so we played for fewer people than in the past at this event.

We continued to play shows throughout the year.

*July 11 King's Island, OH,

*July 12 Racine WI ,

*July 25 Columbus OH 888-404-0949 (Cornerstone Cafe),

*July 26 Reinholts Fairgrounds PA,

*August 8 Atlanta GA 770-973-0534 (The Edge Festival),

*August 16 Cheboygan MI, August 30 Waterloo IA

*September 13 Barbourville KY,

*September 27 Rockford IL October 4th Columbus Oh (King's Place),

*October 11 Martinsville IN,

*October 17 Houston TX,

*October 18 Dallas TX ,

The turnouts at the shows were getting better since the tour with Rocketboy,
but they were nothing like years gone past. I know it was in the back of
everyone's mind: "how much longer can we do this? How much longer does God
want us to do this?" Every day I would ask the Lord, "Father, is Bride still
a band? Is this something we should continue to do?"

South America, October 30-November 1st, reunited us with all of our
Brazilian friends and marked the 5th time we had been invited to this
wonderful event. We asked ourselves here also, "how much longer will they
have us?" This year was particularly special because we were able to play
with and meet Michael W. Smith for the first time. The shows were great as
always, and we found Michael to be very friendly.

We returned home as we always did from these big shows with a little more
get up and go. We continued our weekend shows playing November 8, Willouhby,
Oh, November 15, Keyser ,WV, November 22 Clarksville ,TN (Spike and Crown),
December 30, Indianapolis, In, December 31, Joplin, MO.

Though we had played the most shows of any year we had ever played, it was
far from being a successful year. There were so many up's and down's; there
was never a high. The band was tired, we felt old, and we were confused with
what to do musically in the future. Though "The Jesus Experience" seemed to
be selling well and we were out ministering the Word of God, the band itself
was loose. We really lost the desire to rehearse, to write songs, even to
hang out at all with one another. We needed a spark, and we were not getting
it from our new booking agency, Big Planet, whose goal was 100 shows for 1997.

They missed their goal.


We Started off playing live gigs January 9, Waldorf, MD (My Brother's
Place), January 10, Chester, VA January, 24 Des Moines, IA, January 25,
Duluth, MN, January 29, Atlanta, GA, January 30, Jacksonville, Fl. Then came
the big change. Doug Lucas, who had been going on trips with us as a driver,
wanted to become more involved in our ministry. We all agreed that Big
Planet seemed too unorganized for what we were used to as a band. We decided
after much prayer to let Big Planet go, and Doug Lucas took over the
bookings of the band.

Our nightly song list from this period of time included songs from these CD's:

*The Jesus Experience

** Scarecrow Messiah

*** Drop

**** Snakes in the Playground

*****Kinetic Faith

SONGS were:

Rattlesnakes ****

Would you die for me ****

Psychedelic Super Jesus ****

Fallout ****

The Worm *

I love you *

If I live I live for you *

End *

Cosmic Christ *

Scarecrow **

Beast **

Everybody knows my name *****

Trouble Times *****


The shows seemed to go well, but I was feeling the desire to minister the
Word more than ever from the stage. Some folks they were blessed and
welcomed the Word that was preached. Others thought I went too long, that it
was out of place and anti-climatic for the end of the night. I was even
accused at one point of possibly hurting merchandise sales because I
ministered too long. Actually, the ministering of the Word may have went a
tad long. However, I was only saying what I felt led to say. I wanted people
to understand God, their own purpose in life, what the Lord was expecting of
them, and sometimes I guess it was me ministering rather than the Holy
Spirit. Yet, each night brought folks forward for prayer.

I have witnessed great works of God all throughout this ministry. Young
people coming to Jesus for the first time, folks recommitting themselves,
folks being healed, delivered and set free from the corruptions of this
world. Yet, through all of the ministry, Father had a long ways yet to bring
me personally before I could clearly see what He had in store.


Because of the popularity of one "Marilyn Manson" and the Christian church's
obsession with this man, I was led by the Holy Spirit to write the following.

Marilyn Manson

Who is afraid of Marilyn Manson? It seems that the past year or so many
Christians lived their lives centered in Manson fear. Protest was held,
prayer groups were organized, and there were even marches in the street to
rid society of this gothic figure. Christians were appalled and repulsed by
this man. Churches took busloads to rally against this evil which was
rolling across the country spreading his blasphemous reproaches against God
and holiness.

It seemed that everything that deemed itself unholy and vaunted and boasted
of itself in evil was credited to Marilyn Manson. The Christian people
seemed to forget that there is none righteous, no not one! We are all "sold
under sin" (Romans 7:14).

Now, with a new CD in the stores, how are Christians going to react again? I
normally would not write a sermon of this sort, but God woke me early and
laid this on my heart. This is being written not to condemn Manson. I am not
writing this to endorse him, either. This letter to you is to bring
awareness to God as Father.

I have heard as much about Marilyn Manson, and know just as much as I ever
want to. Most of my knowledge of him has came from Christian sources (though
I found out later that most of the information I had received was false and
made up, out of minds of the insecure). When people are struck with sudden
fear their hearts fail them, their faith is weakened, and often times they
lash out carnally. In fact, to loose focus of God's will and to react on our
own is sin. So people who went out with good intentions to expose the evil
influence of Manson subjected themselves to sin.

A person who leans on their own wisdom, or righteousness, is in fact only
going through the motions of good intentions. When "good intentions" are
implied it produces vanity. It is easy at this point to be caught up in the
figment of reason more devoutly than the living God.

Christians were angry with Manson for his actions both on and off stage, and
offended by the message he was spouting forth. What did everyone expect from
a person who does not have a relationship with the Father? Manson only does
what is of his nature. He is not a born again Christian, so he does not have
God's nature. God's Spirit has not transformed him, and his mind is still
carnal; yet to be renewed by the Word of God. Christian people acted as if
Manson should be behaving differently than what comes by his sinful nature.
When a person invents their own god in their own likeness they will behave
to only please that man-made god (which they have created in their own image).

Here is a man who is behaving unseemly and doing things which Christian
people are repulsed by, but at one time these same Christian people were
under the same influences because of sin. I have something in common with
Manson. I was once lost, too. I once was under the curse, a slave to sin,
bound in chains of darkness, living my life as an empty vessel. I am a
sinner saved by grace. The only thing that separates me from being just like
Marilyn Manson is Jesus Christ in my life. Jesus Christ has changed the
corruptible in me to righteousness through grace by His Faith.

When I saw the Christian protest rallies on TV I was saddened. If I were
Marilyn Manson, these people shouting and holding up signs would have not
moved me. It would not have made me draw closer to God, but would have
repelled me as insect spray does to the fly. I witnessed what appeared to be
a mob scene; Christians taking Marilyn Mason personally. I not only
witnessed anger, but hate spewing from the protesters. There were some that
seemed to allow themselves to be conducted by the Holy Spirit. However,
Manson himself seemed to be controlling the larger portion of the
protesters, demonstrated by their own actions. He even confessed that he fed
off their protest.

John 8:7: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone." In
this scripture we see the religious of Jesus' day drag a woman to the feet
of Jesus and expose her sin to all that stood around. The same type of
people are those who shouted at Manson and held the protest signs. What did
Jesus tell the woman after the men had left ashamed? "Neither do I condemn
thee: go, and sin no more." Why didn't Jesus condemn her as Moses had
commanded? Because Jesus had come to save that which was lost!

Who did Jesus die for? He did not die for the Holy, the Righteous and the
Pure in Heart. He died for the sinner! He died for people just like Marilyn
Manson. Jesus came to do his Father's will, which was restoring the
relationship that had been lost.

The only way to combat evil principalities, rulers of darkness of this
world, spiritual wickedness in high places is by prayer! Ephesians 6:18
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching
thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Christians
became so preoccupied with defending their youth against the wiles of
Marilyn Manson that they forgot how to worship God. People were trying to
stop a spiritual force by human means. The battle is not fought on the
street, in front of an arena, or at a protest rally. The war is waged in the

Matthew 5:44: "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them
that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute
you;" Paul even wrote in Romans 12:14: "Bless them, which persecute you:
bless, and curse not." Romans 12:21: "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome
evil with good." Matthew 7:1-3: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with
what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete,
it shall be measured to you again. Any why beholdest thou the mote that is
in thy brother's eye, but considereth not the beam that is in thy own eye?"
The phrase "love the sinner and hate the sin" does apply here. King David
composed a song at the death of Saul, his enemy. Though Saul was his enemy,
David executed an Amalekite for rejoicing over Saul's death. Romans 12:20:
"Therefore if thy enemy hunger feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for
in doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."

While Christians brought media attention to Manson's freak show, his album
sales soared to heights he would not have reached without the help from the
religious community. In fact, because of the religious community, I would
attribute at least 2 million more sales to his cause. The church became a
selling tool for this evil work. Why? Because people did not approach this
according to scripture!

So what will the Christians do the next time an Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper,
9 inch Nails, Danzig or a King Diamond raises their demonic head on the
scene? They will probably get out the cardboard and markers and load up on
church buses and rush off to another protest rally.

The above writing made some Christians upset, and others saw the truth in
it. I stated what was on my heart.

The only way to combat evil principalities, rulers of darkness of this
world, spiritual wickedness in high places is by prayer! Ephesians 6:18
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching
thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."

NOTE: Just a suggestion, but you might want to add Fasting. (And praying
that they will turn to Jesus Christ and become Brothers/Sisters in Christ is

So what will the Christians do the next time an Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper,
9 inch Nails, Danzig or a King Diamond raises their demonic head on the
scene? They will probably get out the cardboard and markers and load up on
church buses and rush off to another protest rally.

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