Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Objective Trip

I'm going. No, I'm not. Yes I am! Oh.. no I'm not. Oh -Yes I am!!

Yes, it all started out a little like a pantomime! And like a pantomime, you may feel this goes on and on... But I enjoyed writing it up and I hope you enjoy it and want to read on to the end!

How did I get to go to Nashville? I was invited by Ted Bruun [pron. brew-un], founder of The Extreme Tour and Vince Leone [pron. lee-own-ee], America's UK rep of the tour, to come out to Nashville for what was called 'The Objective 2016'. I had little idea of what was in store, all that I knew is that there would be discussions about the UK side of this tour as it expands into Europe and beyond, of which I had been asked to come on board as one of the core organisers for the UK after being involved last year.
Before I start off on my journey, let me introduce you to Ted:

Here is Ted Bruun, founder of The Extreme Tour and below is...

...the 72ft cliff Ted fell off when a young lad, landed onto rocks
on his head beneath and miraculously survived (said the atheistic
doctor who said he had to rethink about there being a God.)
From this life changing event came
'The Extreme Tour' youth outreach initiative years later,
that now over 20 years on, has
become a movement.

I envisaged the conference room to be a handful of people talking about the strategy for the UK culture but boy -was I in for a shock! First of all, I thought Rocketown was a place, not a venue and secondly, I had no idea it was a conference of this magnitude! It seems that key emails did not for some bizarre reason reach my inbox.. So, amidst the mass of people signing in to register for their tickets and event organisers doing last minute sortings, I was in a jet-lagged daze trying to figure out where my place was in all this! Then came Ted to the rescue and gave me my role. Phew! My purpose for the week was beginning to take shape. I was to be on the critiquing panel for the many songwriters and bands who had come to audition for a place in the U.S.'s leg of The Extreme Tour, taking place over the summer this year.

Myself on the critiquing panel next to Ed Jervis of In-Presence Records (UK label)
who is next to... someone else (Sorry sir!)

There was anything from 10 of us on this panel, including industry experts. They were the ones who got to talk though -the rest of us kept our comments quietly on paper. Mind you, the experts were experts! Slick technical talk, instrumental tones and all sorts they were picking up on to nurture the hopefuls. It was amazing to listen to -I learnt a lot!

A couple of days into proceedings and I finally begin to feel more myself. Once Jet-lag had begun to wear off and after I got some much needed time out with The Lord on a nice patch of grass just up the road.

So Rocketown, let me show you it:

Here I am with Peter and Sam from UK punk-rock band Peter118
(Psalm 118 I believe) at the entrance to Rocketown.

It's like a tardis! Here, the massive hall and stage is being set up for all the bands.

There is also a massive indoor skate park called 'Skate Church'.
What a cool idea!

On the left is the entrance door and I am sat on a brown comfy sofa
taking in the presently quiet surroundings (they are all outside registering!)
It wasn't like this for long though!

The main hall - all dressed up and ready to go

A blurred shot of Michael W. Smith -my hand must have been shaking from excitement! Ahh... I had 
my camera in Manual mode, that's why! (Sorry Mike.) It was still pretty exciting to see you though! 
He told a great story about the stick he's got in his hand. I've got one of those too. And a massive staff! 
Ask me for more info!


Now I've introduced you to The Objective, Ted and Rocketown, let me rewind a little...
I was on my way to the States. My first trip to the States at that. First stop - Philidelphia. 

We had 7 hours until our next flight, so we headed for the Rocky steps :D


So here's a funny picture to give you an idea lolololol !!!!

"Ice-cold wa'er, get your ice-cold wa'er!" was Steve's main profession and much needed I tell you, with all those bodies floating up and down the steps on a daily basis! (Floating -they wish!) It turned out he sold other stuff on the side too and was generally seeing what he could do to get any extra cash. He had a nice way about him though! (He wasn't a pushy sales man ;) I got chatting with him and he agreed to play the theme tune ...for a tip! I asked him how many times a day does he play it and he answered 'around 900'! -Not all for tips mind you.. That's only if you specifically ask him to play. (Mind you, he'd be very rich if so! -Hey -there's another sales revenue idea for you Steve!)  
I SO wish I had the video to show you! Alas, I must let it go. Nothing I can do about it now.

Here's a few more photos of Philly :)

A beautiful sky. Reminded me of a heavenly portal. Got me praying. 
Talking of which, here is a prayer for Philadelphia below. We can all join in!

Hopefully you can enlarge it to read all the print. I'll write it up at the end.
Let's see what God will do! We could make it a template for other cities on
our hearts and share with each other, so we are all praying for all the cities in the world!!

Up for it?

This was a new sight to me -a group of police officers about to head out on bicycles.

This woman on the left made me laugh! She taught me some downtown Philly language! I asked for a bottle of water. She didn't understand me, so I thought I'd better say it slower. "Bo-tt-le -of- wa-ter please?" "Wha'?" she replied, "Bah wah?" she said. "Er.. Yes -bah wah please!!" I may feel silly saying it, but next time I go to Philadelphia downtown MacDonalds, I MUST say "Bah wah"!

So, we say our farewell to Philly and catch our plane. (byeeeeee...)


I arrive with Peter118 and get picked up from Knoxville airport. "Huh? I thought you were going to Nashville Trace?" Yes -our flight from Philadelphia had been changed, so we arrive in Knoxville and prepared for a further 3 hour drive to Nashville. I'm thinking on the joy of my Rocky Run up those famous steps in Phily... Steve who played the theme tune through his yellow duck bill...  Bah wah ...and I'm looking forward to the bed provided for me once arriving in Nashville. "What? There is no accommodation sorted? NOOOO!!! What?" [again] "-and I needed to bring a sleeping bag? NOOOO!!!!!" Pretty important questions I had asked prior to coming out that I was assured was sorted!! OK... Well, Heavenly Father would either provide for me or I'd be out on the streets! I wasn't panicked... I knew He'd provide (or be with me on the streets). Apologies were said and lessons were learnt. The lesson for me is to liase these V.I. issues through someone else next time! Anyway.. Thanks to Pete's friend Ange and her housemates, they were happy for one more to kip over in their lovely home for the next 4 nights.  :O)

Let's meet them:

Ange on the left with BUT FIRST... T and Malia who looks incredibly small but isn't. She's sat on 
a stool. Lovely girls

Straight ahead is the lounge where we kipped and the blow-up moose head on the wall you see to the 
left, leads to further quarters with more housemates. Bless them all for having us.

A funny sight: Ed and Pete top-to-toe on a less than double-sized mattress.

So, with lodgings now sorted, I could begin to adjust to my new surroundings.

We got up and headed into Nashville for breakfast each morning before "work" commenced at 
Rocketown. The first place we headed to was a cafe in the Johnny Cash Museum. Nice place, nice 
staff and...


Saturday morning (3 days in) I moseyed around the town taking a much needed break to just soak
in the atmosphere of Nashville and the American deep south culture. I just had to walk into a Saloon 
(or two!)!

 Here's a video snapshot I took to give you the flavour: 

An idea of Nashville City Centre, taken from the soldiers bridge.
It's not called that -but it's a rather nice bridge with a stunning view.

Another interesting sight -these could be hired out for parties and were everywhere!

This was 10 o'clock in the morning. It's like this every day, not just Saturdays.

Legends Corner saloon -Up bright and early to bring you your breakfast:

A mixed grill of AC/DC and lots more! 

The legendary Music Hall Of Fame. Didn't get to go in on this occasion.

As I head into Sunday, I want to remind you that I flew back on Monday, so if you are beginning to think 
will this blog ever end? Yes it will lol! 
Just after about 10 or 20 more pictures. No wait... 30.. 40..? ;)

I managed to go out with the crew to the town centre to do street outreach Saturday night -I was too 
jet-lagged to make it Thursday and Friday. It was an interesting experience -Courtney Mac, a new friend 
(who I don't have a picture of sadly) was superb in keeping momentum high :)
Sunday, we headed to another part of Nashville -a more deprived area. This was going to be the place 
for some Extreme outreach for the afternoon. First however, we listened to talks and presentations in a 
morning gathering from established folk, including UK's Tim Cheshire of the Exit Tour (Josiah Venture)
also from the Christian UK band Superhero. I am very pleased to say he is on board helping with event 
organising for The Extreme Tour UK 2017, so we can really up the anti (as the saying goes) and go a bit further with the outreach plans Father God has for the UK.

Below are pictures of the housing estate we headed out to afterwards, where we hung out for a couple of hours. First up, you see Angelo (aka Gallery Cat) and Lamont from WuTang Clan rapping on stage...


...with that all important bah-wah 
as it was a scorcher!

As you look around the field in the pictures below, you will see others behind stalls giving out food and 
freebies. Those of us from The Objective were encouraged to mill about and play with the kids etc.

And here's an important one... A short interview with a church deacon dishing out 
free George Forman Grills, taken on my camera. 

Check this video out:

Yeah! So, get in touch with me if you want to get involved and we'll talk things over,
pray things over and move forward with the rest of the team to make it happen.

For 2016, The Extreme Tour UK is taking place in October, starting in Scotland, working our way down to South Wales. If you are anywhere between those regions and interested then please talk to me! For next year, we can look at travelling a much wider part of England as we gain access to more resources, so if you would like to be partnered for October 2017, then also -please get in touch!


After this beautiful afternoon, we headed to Franklin (also in Tennessee) to the incredible legendary 
Dark Horse Recording Studios. 
WOW is the word that sums it up for me! It was BREATH-TAKING! 


My kids would LOVE this raised bunk! ->

^The entrance.

Me with music producer, Billy Smiley.

To finish up, let me show you some other new friends I made whilst over here, in Nashville.
This man below is none other than Jack Frost!! What a cool name! 
Event Manager for The Objective conference:

Isaac and Angel who looked after me from A-B on the Sunday -and now new friends!

Me with Pastor Samme, one of my new mentors! Love this guy. So much fun and such an encourager. 
It's nice to know he's there for me :P He's holding his phone coz he's watching my track video 
Touch The Air! He hosts a radio show amongstother A & R he's involved in, within the music industry. 
He gave my album 9/10!! How fantastic is that! 
I am in the process of collecting reviews for it, as I realise that's a good thing to do. 
My album It Is Finished will be relaunched soon, with a new look!

Back to new friends...

Jen Phipps, songwriter (left)
 and Suzanne, Ted's wife :)

Richard Caudel -what a dude!




Jeff (left) and Harley (centre), who are just about to step out full-time in their ministry. I had a divine set-up with these lovely guys (which I'll share briefly on in a few moments), after we'd been to Pucketts, the venue The Objective conference ends up at every year. Talking of which, here's a pic of me playing!  LOVE IT :) Thanks to my new friend musician Richard Caudel for lending me his guitar! He looks like V For Vendetta!

So as I draw to a close, I want to leave you with one last picture. Well, two. The face of Jeff Owen, musician and pastor, and Harley. He and Harley drove me back to my lodgings in Nashville en-route to Wisconsin. It was clear Father had a plan for me to be ministered to through them and for these established men of faith to take me away in their hearts, as they said... We had a great chat, Jeff shared some scripture (1 Chronicles 16 vs 7-36) and a vision he had one morning from the Lord which involved the word PRIMED. Here is what The Lord gave him regarding that word, which was accompanied by a picture of a well of some sort:

P ray
R ead
I nquire               (about scripture you're reading)
M editate
E nlightenment  (i.e. revelation)
D o__

They prayed for me, anointed me with oil and encouraged me as I left to head back to England the next day. 

Jeff, Billy Smiley and Harley

Well, it actually feels sad to be bringing this to an end! 

I will search the Philidelphia payer out and post the words up here asap, as I for one cannot read what it says on the plaque for toffee! So, thanks for reading - I hope you have enjoyed my trip and all the highlights I have shared! I seemed to have had troubles with the format along the way -what started out as a nice neat essay has become more and more disreavlled! I'm unfamiliar with the back-end of this blogging platform...

In closing my friend, my prayer for you, is that you will know our heavenly Father's hand of blessing

 on your life, released as you put your trust in Him and His son, saviour... Jesus Christ.

With love and peace,


  1. What an exciting trip Tracey! Great photos too!
    We will pray for this project and your involvement in it
    Be blessed,

  2. Well donr for sharing this all Trace.. A crazy journey but what and Adventure!!

    1. Ha! Thanks PAul! Thanks for giving it a read! It was a nice surprise to see two comments waiting for me! Meet my step-mum Lisca above! In Spain with my dad. See you soon and thanks again for all you did to SAVE ME FROM THE MARES THAT COULD HAVE TAKEN PLACE!!! X