Highs and lows helped Big Daddy Weave connect deeper with fans

Published 11:03 am, Friday, August 18, 2017

In recent years, Christian pop band Big Daddy Weave has undergone a metamorphosis. Major success following the band’s 2012 “Love Come to Life,” was followed by tragedy four years later when band member Jay Weaver had both legs amputated. But the band has turned its ups and downs into its advantage.

As they continue their Set Free tour, which stops at Crossroads Church in Odessa on Wednesday, lead singer Mike Weaver talked about connecting with the audience on a different level, his brother’s progress and how change has made the band better.



Big Daddy Weave’s Set Free Tour with We Are Messengers and Micah Tyler. 6 p.m. Wednesday at Crossroads Odessa, 6901 E. Highway 191. $15-$50. ticketfly.com.

MRT: Much has gone on with the band both professionally and personally. Does that reflect in your music and show?

Weaver: For us, really, it’s about inspiring hope. We all go through junk and we all need a second chance.


MRT: How do you inspire that hope?

Weaver: For years, we would tell some kind of champion story with the audience that was encouraging. But then God was looking to use us differently, and we started sharing about our brokenness. We all hurt and that somehow resonated far more than any story.


MRT: What do you share?

Weaver: We’re just honest and open, man, about what’s on our minds. To know someone has been, or is, going through what you’ve been through, that is pretty hopeful. You can see that light come on and that we’re all sharing an experience. I’m actually jazzed by the interaction we see with the lives of some people.


MRT: Was there a catalyst for this newfound openness at your concerts?

Weaver: As we were walking through, it just started to feel fake to pretend everything was OK when we were going through rough stuff. But we didn’t want that to be a gimmick, either. We wanted to have a message of moving forward. Where we are going tomorrow is not bound by our lives today.


MRT: The band released its first album “Neighborhoods” in 2001. How do you feel nine albums later?

Weaver: I still feel like I’m going to be told to get a day job, but I love playing music. And just to see what God has done and allowed us to do has been great. We’re thankful to do this. We’re a little more achy than when we started ,but in our hearts, we still feel like college kids.


MRT: At this point, you’re all practically family.

Weaver: It’s been cool to see each of us go through seasons of life. We’re all dads now. There were times we hated each other’s guts. But all that adds depth to those long-term relationships, and it carries a special kind of weight.


MRT: Your brother, Jay, had his legs amputated due to complications from diabetes. Speaking of family, how did he and you all — particularly you — go through that?

Weaver: It was just like a punch to the gut for all of us. This is my brother. There was such a helpless feeling that comes with that. We heard from places all over the world. It was time to see if we believe in what we say we believe. It was a dark time but we and the church rallied around him and lifted him up.


MRT: And how is he doing?

Weaver: Much better and there is steady improvement. He and we are all learning a new normal, and it’s slow-going but hopeful.


MRT: With both success and obstacles, does the band handle each differently or the same?

Weaver: Because of our experience now, we know where to run. We take it to (God) first. When we began this personal revival, there was a freedom in that. The Lord began to heal something in us. The response has been beautiful, and we see how it’s all rooted in God’s unconditional love.


HEB Cooking Connection shares back to school recipes

It’s almost time to go back to school, so HEB Cooking Connection is sharing fast recipes for breakfast, snacks, and dinner to help make things easier.

We started with a couple of easy breakfast options, from a new migas egg scramble kit kit to 6 weeks refrigerator muffins.

Need a fast snack? Try some chocolate hummus, or an apple filled with peanut butter. But if you’re looking for something that can double as a lunch for your kid, try whipping up a pasta salad that features corn, beans and hatch chile vinaigrette.

Chefs at the Cooking connection suggest trying out a tri-tip for dinner. Whether you slice it up and pour some hatch chili sauce on top, or shred the meat to make tacos and sliders, cooking a tri-tip early in the week will supply you with leftovers for days to come.

If you want step by step instructions watch the videos above or head over to the HEB Tower Point and stop by the Cooking Connection station for the full recipes!

Former FBI behavioral analyst: 3 strategies to connect with anyone

Ever walked up to a stranger at a party, a networking event, or just a new acquaintance and wanted to make sure they left the conversation with a positive impression? 

Robin Dreeke, the former head of the FBI’s behavioral analysis program, a current FBI agent, and coauthor of “The Code of Trust” shared three strategies with Business Insider to connect with anyone, anywhere. Following is a transcript of the video.

Three ways to build connections with people is by asking questions, active listening, and decoding nonverbal behavior. It’s really pretty simple because when you ask questions, the other person’s brain’s automatically engaging. It’s the best thing you do.

Again, when you’re asking questions, again, nonjudgmentally or in a challenging way, but from a seeking to understand way, you’re demonstrating their value and you’re demonstrating an affiliation, and their brain is really rich and rewarded for it.

Did you ever hear the expression, “Hey, you want to plant seeds for someone to think about tomorrow?”

You don’t do that by telling someone what to do, or telling them your thoughts and opinions. You do that by asking them questions because their brain will engage those things and they can’t stop. So, that’s the first one.

Active listening — that is really simple for me because, by just demonstrating that you’re listening by following up  on the statements and information they’re giving you during an encounter.

Get rid of the things that you think you had to say in any kind of script, and pay attention to what they’re saying and follow up with even deeper questions about understanding who they are and their thoughts and opinions.

And finally is the nonverbals. And what we’re in nonverbal behavior to demonstrate that we actually do have affiliation and liking going on, is we’re looking for the smiling, maybe a little head tilt, exposing a carotid artery, trusting the world not to rip out my jugular. Palms up, ventral displays, eyebrow elevation, all these things are saying and demonstrating we have liking, we have affiliation. As opposed to the eyebrow compression, lip compression. This is saying you’re not doing something right, and you need to adjust what you’re doing in order to make that connection.

Florida man arrested in connection with Charlottesville white supremacist rally is out of a job

A Florida man arrested in connection with a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., is out of a job.

North American Roofing Services, which recently moved its headquarters to Tampa, announced in an internal memo that Jim O’Brien “is no longer with the company.” The announcement follows a Tampa Bay Times article with details from O’Brien’s blog espousing white nationalist beliefs and encouraging violence against the political left.

The memo, shared with the Times by CEO Kelly Wade, doesn’t name O’Brien but instead refers to a “manager.” Wade confirmed the memo referred to O’Brien. He formerly worked as the company’s director of purchasing and logistics.

“The flurry of published documentation supporting discriminatory beliefs and activity by this Manager has disrupted the business and made it impossible for him to perform his job,” the memo states. “Therefore, we have addressed the situation.”

O’Brien, 44, declined to comment Tuesday.

Virginia State Police on Saturday announced O’Brien, of Gainesville, was one of three men arrested in connection with a violent white nationalist rally planned to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Florida man among three arrested in connection to white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

O’Brien said his arrest for carrying a concealed handgun was unrelated to the rally and that he received a misdemeanor citation from police.

Saturday’s rally, called “Unite the Right” by its organizers, drew droves of counter-protesters. The parties clashed throughout the day, leading the governor to call for a state of emergency. Police say an Ohio man in support of the white nationalist movement drove his car into a crowd, killing a woman who was there to protest.

The statement from North American Roofing goes on to denounce “discriminatory activity of any sort.”

“We do not support the extremist activities that were on display in Charlottesville, Va. over the weekend or any other similar activity,” it says. “We promote a culture of inclusion and diversity.”

The memo doesn’t mention white nationalism specifically, but Wade said in an interview that company leaders “denounce white supremacy completely.”

Contact Kathryn Varn at (727) 893-8913 or [email protected] Follow @kathrynvarn.

Florida man arrested in connection with Charlottesville white supremacist rally is out of a job 08/15/17

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 11:52am]

Photo reprints | Article reprints

Trail to connect LSU, Southern University receives key federal money | News

A six-mile trail to give pedestrians and bikers a route between downtown and north Baton Rouge — including LSU and Southern University — is in the works for the Capital City.

The Baton Rouge recreation and parks commission announced Monday it received a $3.7 million grant that will go toward building the trail, which will eventually connect the Scotlandville Parkway to the Downtown Greenway. The trail will be built in two phases, first spanning from Memorial Stadium to Scotlandville Parkway and then linking to downtown in its second phase.

“Eventually, this trail will make it possible for residents to go between Southern University and LSU on their bicycles or on foot as one section will connect to the Downtown Greenway and the other will be extended to the Southern University Campus,” said BREC Superintendant Carolyn McKnight in a news release.

The chairs were set up, music queued, fact sheets and maps printed, and lectern and ceremoni…

It could be years, though, before it becomes a reality. BREC estimates another year of planning, environmental reviews, surveys and more before construction could begin and then another 1.5 to two years for construction.

The trail is expected to cost $4.1 million, with BREC picking up the tab for the remaining cost that the grant does not cover.

Follow Andrea Gallo on Twitter, @aegallo.​