Wednesday, 10 February 2010

USA Tour: Day Four

A day of travel, singing, laughing and eating!

We left Atlanta this morning after Godfrey had been, on his own, into the O.M. offices to do a short 15 minute slot with the students who are on their mission course. We had a breakfast at "Cracker Barrel" of eggs and bacon to fortify us for the rigours of the 339 mile drive on the American highway to Charleston, SC. We had a blast in the car for 5 hours or so. Loads of laughter, and drunken glory while listening to "The Beach Boys", "Brian Wilson's SMILE" and some "Frank Zappa" - I'd not heard any Zappa before but apparently "One Size Fits All" is rare in that it's clean lyrically and the musicianship was, frankly, stunning. I may have to buy that one. You've got to listen to American music when you're on a road-trip in the 'states - to do otherwise would be rude!

Dave, our Monk in Residence, had another policy proposal for us – and that was to ‘graze’ our way across the ‘states and eat everything and everywhere, to try every restaurant chain we could at least once. As we pulled of the interstate for gas around 2pm and with about a hundred miles to go we pondered what to have for lunch. Godfrey is a big fan of Krispy Kreme donuts, even though he doesn’t like any other kind of donut, so we asked the oracle suction cupped onto the windscreen to tell us if there were any nearby and there was one three miles from where we were and the next one was over sixty miles away. God blesses us in the little trivial things as well as the big things. So lunch was a healthy serving of a box containing a dozen assorted Krispy Kreme donuts with coffee. Godfrey told us that the simple original glazed ones were the best but we rebels refused to bow to superior wisdom and we chose some others too. He was right – the simple glazed originals were by far and away the best.

The long drive through mostly pretty dull scenery was given a much needed boost after lunch when Godfrey spotted some flashing blue lights tearing up far behind us – our first thought was “Is he after us, are we speeding?” but we weren’t and he wasn’t. Ahead of him was a silver sedan (A Buick ‘Le Sabre’ I think) that was giving it some serious beans. Within a few seconds he passed us with the police car not far behind. The silver car was dodging in and out of the lanes trying to get ahead as quickly as possible and taking some crazy risks. Godfrey eased off the gas a lot to let them get ahead, not just in case they caused a huge pile up but in case someone in the silver car started shooting backwards towards the police car and inadvertently hit us. It was just like an episode of “World’s Wildest Police Chases”. As the interstate is so straight we could see the pursuit heading off into the distance for a minute or two and the last thing we saw was a huge truck pull out to overtake another truck just after the silver car had got past leaving the police car weaving back and forth across the two lanes trying to make the truck driver get out of the way, which he did eventually. By the time we’d caught the trucks there was no sign of either the pursuer or the pursued. Maybe they’d taken an off-ramp and where now tearing around the suburbs of a small town! We were all as excited as a bunch of ten year olds.

As we neared Charleston we started singing the oldest choruses we could remember – and fell about laughing as we dredged up one or two real stinkers from our memories. It was scary how many we all knew though. It was only a short drive in from the interstate to the hotel that had been booked for us. It looked really nice (a Hampton Hotel) and they were about to start serving free drinks (alcoholic and soft) and free meatballs and snacks! As we weren’t going to eat for an hour or two we decided Dave’s grazing policy applied and we checked in and dumped our bags in the rooms and had a small bite to keep us going. Godfrey then needed to pop out with one of the guys organizing the “British Invasion of Glory” conference ( to get a kick drum for him to use so Dave and I took the chance to shower and unpack before we all went out for a meal with Woody the pastor of the church.

When Woody, his wife Jodie and their worship pastor Paul  came back with Godfrey we were immediately hit by wave after wave of the heavy intoxication of heaven. It took us quite some time just to decide where to eat and get to the cars. There was a LOT of joy on the party – if you know what I mean! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard for so long in my entire life. The drive to the restaurant was a shing ding glory trip and it just got messier as the evening progressed! Dave latched onto Paul and had his arms locked around him speaking truth over him and into him and then switched places with me so he and Woody could have a little drinky together. The meal was at a place called Gilligans and it was superb, Seafood and Steak, and our waitress Dee was more patient than you could image especially as she was dealing with six increasingly drunk and giggly people. There was an immediate connection between us and I could see why Godfrey spoke so highly of Woody and his church; they love the new wine and aren’t afraid to drink deep. I think the rehearsal tomorrow will be amazing let alone the start of the conference on Thursday. These guys are going to be instrumental in seeing the USA crack open and the new wine pour out across this amazing nation. There’s no hint of the old hag of religion in them! I KNOW I’ll be coming back here again – hopefully with the whole family next time.


  1. so wish i was there man, so fricking gurd!!!

  2. Pastor Woody Butler10 February 2010 at 20:20

    The Lord is connecting our hearts with the UK!! I felt so much destiny in our joy last night. We have finally found each other. Nothing but glory from here on. The Brits have landed! God save the Queen!