Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Help us Help the Channel!

HELP! The Channel needs to raise $20,000 this week to keep operating. The Channel means so much to so many, please consider donating to help them keep the doors open.
Here is a note from the owner/operator.

"Dear Channel Family,

Jay here. I just wanted to take a minute to share an urgent need with you. As you know we moved back to Downtown in June of 2010. It has been an exciting time, but it has also been a trying time. During start up in the new location, and with the projections we had for the restaurant, we hoped we would be in a much different place financially.

We have had several obstacles as we have moved forward with our vision for The Channel. For those of you who may not have had the chance to come to the new place yet, we have moved to a 14000 sq ft building in the heart of the city. Our renovations ended up costing more than we had planned for, as it always seems to happen that way. We opened Grille 33 on June 12th to help generate some cash flow as we continued to work on the venue. We had to be out of the old location on Orchard Park by the end of March meaning we were closed for almost three months between locations.

We had our first show at the end of July with Brian Head Welch. For those of you who are, and have been faithful supporters/concert goers, you must have noticed that our concert numbers haven’t been what they were at the old location. The reason for that is we needed to build another staircase to provide a second entrance/exit from the venue level. With that being said, we have taken a pretty hard blow financially. We went from doing 20 plus events a month to prior to this month only doing at the most 11 in any given month. The next part should be real easy to understand. Our expenses went up with the new location, but our show numbers went down. That can only do one thing, and that is create a gap.

As you all know, or should know by now, The Channel isn’t about Jay and Amanda McAbee. It’s about YOU! We exist as a place where everyone can feel like they are a part of the big picture. From the local opener that gets booked to play a show with their favorite National artist to the regular concertgoer. The Channel is here to meet many needs, and fill many voids in the community. The exciting part for us is meeting each and every one of you, and developing new relationships.

The Channel was actually started 15 yrs ago as The Carpenters Cellar. It was located in downtown, but in an underground location that was very small. My wife and I took it over 5 years ago with a new and fresh vision. We have grown, moved twice, and outgrown every location we have been in up to this point. With growth comes change, and with change comes responsibility. We opened Grille 33 as an attempt to help fund The Channel. Within the first several months of opening, we found ourselves in a tough place. The Channel is a 501(c)3 non-profit, but Grille 33 is for profit. The issue was that Grille 33 had only made about 20% of its projections from start up. There were factors that contributed to this that were out of our control. It forced us to shift our focus from The Channel to the Grille. We have worked very hard over the tough winter months to turn the Grille around and get it to turn a profit. Just to build your faith as you are reading this message, 3 months ago the Grille was over $33000 in the negative. Today it is now starting to turn a profit. The turn around for the Grille has been an awesome testimony of faith, and a belief that anything is possible if you just believe.

The last week of December we got a donation to build the staircase that I mentioned. We worked so hard to turn the Grille around that The Channel had taken a back seat. The staircase was started in January, and I have started booking heavily again. We had 26 events this month alone, and I have dates booked out into June already. Events in March include 5 dates with National artists. One big one is March 25th with Brian Head Welch returning to The Channel for a second time.

What we have at The Channel is something very special. It’s a place to connect, to build relationships, to have accountability, a place to belong. Being a non-profit, we have weathered the storms of financial struggle with fundraising, and donations, which leads me to the hard question: does The Channel mean something special to you?

If so we need your help. We need to raise $20,000 in the next seven days. I know I may have just lost some of you, but hear me out first. We have 737 followers of our group on Facebook. What we have is strength in numbers. If everyone would get involved we could meet this need with no problem. If all 737 people donated $27 we would meet our need or if only 200 of you gave $100. It’s a small request to make if you believe in The Channel.

The reality is The Channel is not just a cool place to go see a show, or to hang with friends. Don’t get me wrong, it totally is that, but it’s more. It’s a story of Faith, a belief that, “All things are possible.” We could’ve never made it this far without YOU. I hope every person that reads this will consider how he or she could help. Please don’t just read this and say, “someone else will do it”, because what if they don’t. I’ve never sent a message like this before, so please understand the need is real. I can’t say what will happen if people don’t respond, but I can say our future is bright if you do.

Thanks for your time and consideration,


How to give:

Come to The Channel
Call the Channel 552-1945

Send it in the mail:
The Channel
221 North Main Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Through Paypal via:

Please include your name, address, email/phone number if you would like a tax deductible receipt."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mighty Hand/Oustretched Arm

Check it.
God has been moving



It's not just in my life, and it's not just in the lives of my friends and the people around me. But it's all of that: my life, my friends' lives and the lives of the people around me.

I love it.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dreary Day...

Today is a bit...


It's a little bit rainy out.

The sun is hiding.

And I'm in a bad,
bad mood.

So I'm adding this picture of sunshine to the blog, to make me feel better.

One of the ways I get out of a funk like this, is to listen to good, up-tempo music. I think once I'm done typing this post, I'll put on some of my favorites, like Switchfoot, or House of Heroes ... or maybe my soundtrack from The Sound of Music. Yeah - that might really make me feel better! Ooh, maybe some Needtobreathe.
Yes - even just thinking about what music to listen to is lifting the fog from my head!

It also helps me to write when I get like this, so that's an option, too. Or maybe I'll just head over to Jennie's little square of space and chat with her, because that always puts me in a better mood.

Here's to sunny days and rainbows and butterflies and all that good stuff! And hey - it's supposed to be really warm and sunny tomorrow, and that's always good news!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I went to the Greenwood to take a few pics of the Mommy and Daddy to be.
Here are a few of my favorites:

We are getting close!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Version of the Cat Lady

I have a confession to make: I think I am becoming a cat lady. Well, not quite cat lady...

I am always on guard. Always. I designed the Cat Lady Equation specifically for this -- to make sure that I do not become a cat lady and to help prevent friends from becoming cat ladies. (I can only help those who want to be helped ... Loggins).
But as I recently mentioned, I'm trying to do a lot more crafty stuff ... like do-it-myself (DIM) things around the house. But since I'm cheap, the DIM things are pretty limited.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Part of a Bigger Group!

Check it out:
Our blog is featured on - a web site that acts as sort of a fun (and pretty!) database for awesome Christ-centered blogs.
We're under the "loving life" group, which is rad, since Jennie and I do have that je ne sais quoi, that zest for life, that joie de vivre!
So while you're there, browse around for some more blogs you might love. One of my favorites is Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary (who, by the way, is not the very worst missionary, but she is one of the very best bloggers and I always look forward to her posts.

I will be looking at the crafts blogs on the site, because ....

I'm going to be an aunt!

In about a month, I will turn 27 years old AND I will become an aunt for the FIRST TIME. I am beyond excited! I plan on being the cool aunt (like most want to be) by:
1. Spending enormous amounts of time with that child
2. Making sure he/she is the best dressed child
3. Spoiling him/her beyond repair
4. Praying for him/her relentlessly
5. Taking rock star photos of him/her growing up

do you see a theme? We don't yet know the sex of the baby. It will be a surprise for the BIG day!
I can't wait. Any guesses on what the baby will be?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Confession time.

Confession time: I have been dragging my feet. BIG TIME.
Procrastination is definitely something I struggle with and people close to me can testify to that one!
One example of my extreme procrastination occurred in my Senior Seminar class at Upstate. Every student is required to take some sort of Senior Seminar class before they can graduate. In my senior seminar class, I had to conduct a research project. All I can say is the class is an entire semester for a reason. You are supposed to work on the project the entire semester. I waited until the last three days of the semester to begin working on mine. I did nothing but type and drink coffee for three days straight to complete my final research paper (that I had to pass to graduate). I got a B+.
I often feel like maybe if I was given consequences for my procrastination, then I wouldn't do it anymore. Although, I am not completely sure that would make a difference.
I was listening to a sermon by one of my favorite pastors, Pete Wilson, titled More. He was talking about how when God calls us to something faith-filled, we often run to our hiding place. We can run to insecurity, fear or procrastination. He wanted each person to take a minute to think about what their hiding place was, but I didn't need a second to think. I knew instantly. My hiding place is procrastination. It is so easy to run to procrastination and people understand the excuse: "I am just too busy." or "I haven't been able to get around to it yet."

"Big moves of God are almost always preceded by obedience to Him in the small things." Start with the small things that God asks of you and build on those. How do you break the cycle? Intentionality in spending time with God and being disciplined in staying in the Word.
Where is your hiding place?

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Channel - Everything is happening

Head on over to Amanda's blog to see what's going on at The Channel - the place where Jennie & I love to volunteer and see our favorite bands. Very exciting stuff. I love seeing what God does through and for Jay & Amanda!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two Short Stories for the Price of ... well, none -- it's free!

I've been working on my fiction writing, and getting better about submitting my short stories to online literary magazine to be published, and it's paying off!

Two just went up online this week:
Hot Heat
This is a twisted story about a twisted kid. It's Jennie's favorite short story of mine, randomly. :)
There's actually a lot I like about this kid - even though he's a sociopath -

Friday, February 4, 2011

More Things Jennie Says

It's been forever, and unfortunately I don't have time to really plan a post, but I wanted to share a few wonderful bits of advice from Jennie that have tickled me lately.

This quote is best taken out of context and explained later, so:

"Christy, STOP LISTENING to your family!
They are ruining your reputation!"