Family Life: I am John Ivey: a Christian, a spiritual man and believe that God's mercy and grace motivate above all things. I also believe that we honor God in the doing, not in empty word. "Faith expressed in love." I'm still working on that. My days are frequently hijacked by triggers from my past. I am a survivor of years childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted authority figure. Violated, angry and confused, I lived according to a rebellious, pain patching, survival mindset lifestyle that caused a great deal of damage to myself and everyone around me. 4 decades later, I still deal with the residual effects of my childhood trauma on a daily basis. God has gently and persistently transformed me over the last 29 years of Christianity from an angry, shattered young man into a kind and gentile man whom is becoming freer and more whole by the day. I learned to play guitar at 10 years old and started writing songs as early as 14. The act of song writing helps me to "process" my own experiences as well as offer connection to others. I know how isolated others who have walked a road similar to my own can feel. Through the sharing of my story, my songs and passing on hints of healing I endeavor to help others who carry such burdens.
Family Life: I am a deeply committed husband of 27 years; I married Connie for love and honored my wife with a pure dating relationship. I am honored to be the father of 2 amazing and unique young men. When they were young, my wife and I decided to forgo a second income, sold our dream home in Hawaii and purchased a modest home in the foot hills of the mountains in southern Oregon. Our vision was to create a space in which we could home school our boys with a God-centered world view and teach them in a classical model of education. It was a great call. Despite how many mistakes I made along the way, God made sure they turned out great! Our eldest son, whom spent the first month of his life in NICU fighting for his life, is follower of Christ, an Eagle Scout, with all the matching character traits, a black belt and a budding author working on his second novel. He Currently works full time and carries a 4.0 at Southern Oregon University. Our second son is similarly a believer, an Eagle Scout and also a earned his adult black belt in karate. He is our triple threat entertainer: a singer, dancer, song writer, Spoken Word performer. Lucas has won awards for his ballroom dancing skills. He attends college for cinematography and carries a 4.0 and has makes professional quality custom leather bags and accessories. Our children are the evidence of God's gracious love, patience and redemptive nature.
We went through Scouting as a family (mom was a five year Den mother, dad was a Cub Master, Assistant Scout Master, Patrol Advisor and a merit badge counselor.) We also trained in martial arts together. After 5 years of dedicated training, both boys hold adult 1st degree, black belt rankings and I earned my 2nd dan after 7 years of training. I am still a student of discipline, rectitude, honesty, courage and self control, working towards my 3rd dan. Even Connie joined in to earn her yellow belt! I enjoy most all outdoor activities especially backpacking, with 14 week-long High Sierra pack trips under my belt.
I have owned and operated several small businesses through the course of my career. From an archery ranger to a being an Advanced and Tandem rated paragliding pilot and instructor and competing in the US National Competition and acting at the Safety Director for the US Nationals and West Coast Paragliding competitions I have had many grand adventures! I developed and carried a line of paraglider storage bags that I sold to 23 countries under the business name of FlyGear. After flying for 15 years, I hung up my wings and I built and operated an outdoor park for archery called The Bow Range. I was a great family business with 2 miles of trails and 18 shooting areas. In more down to earth professional work, I spent 20 years running a construction company both solo and running a crew. I focused on remodeling and reselling investment property and later as an independent contractor specializing in finish work and kitchen cabinets. I also built customs projects like decks and hardwood floors and I restored two beautiful historical homes in downtown Medford. When Covid 19 turned the country upside down, I used the opportunity to open a new business doing something that I love. After 41 years of playing guitar and hobby guitar repairs, put my finish wood working and electrical skills to work and hung out my shingle providing luthier services to the Rogue Valley as the business, Rogue Guitar Tech.
Disaster Relief: I helped to develop and held the position of Disaster Response Director for the non-profit organization Sea Mercy which brings first and second response to remote island nations in the South Pacific. I have operated in the field, as well as partnered at regional and national /sovereign government levels on 2 category 5 cyclones responses. In Oregon, I was invited to and delivered a self authored plan to the House of Representatives Emergency Management and Veterans Affairs Committee about disaster relief and the Cascadia Subduction Earthquake threat to Oregon's infrastructure. I submitted a community level disaster response plan for the state of Oregon. It was my privileged to have been able to do 2 live radio interviews on the subject matter: one with with State Representative Esquivel and one with Jackson County's former Sheriff, Mike Winters. I also held the position of Team Leader and trainer for Jackson County Search and Rescue where I was a member of the organization for 5 years.
Connection: Several years back, I started taking a series of pastoral counseling classes, and soon found myself volunteering as a youth counselor at Southern Oregon Christian Camp. My experiences from 4 years of counseling and helping these wonderful kids, who are very often broken and troubled, impacted me deeply. I learned just how rare it was for kids to come from a faithful, loving and supportive unified family. Achieving that vision for me a s a dad has not been easy at all; intense personal counseling and discipleship have helped me to face the painful parts of my story and own them rather than escape from or try to hide them. As Connie and I were each individually growing and transforming our marriage and kids were also blossoming as well.
Artistic Expression: I also have a creative side. I love to perform my original music live! I perform regularly in the Rouge Valley, Oregon at wineries, private parties and even a state festival! I have 40 original songs, 25 with copyrights and even signed an artist recording contract back in 2012. I had and accident that left my left hand in a cast for 6 months with a torn tendon and greatly hampered my guitar playing. After 10 years, I am playing and writing again with a healed hand and a healed heart. I have performed live 26 times since 2022 and I have created a Youtube channel, and instagram account even TikTok under "John Ivey Band" to share my music, live stream videos, drawings and poetry with people around the world! On Dec 31, 2022 I released my first professionally recorded single, "Solid Ground" on Spotify and all streaming platforms! 2023 is a year of artist endeavors with a full season of winery gigs lined up!
Stewardship: With the help of my parents, a lot of faith and none too little bravado, I purchased my first home at 23 years of age. I flipped property and eventually bought a 5 bedroom home on a 24 acre hobby ranch on the Big Island of Hawaii with mountain and ocean views! We thought we had it all...it was an amazing time but also one that left us empty. What I thought was the American Dream turned out to hollow and unfulfilling. In 2006 we sold the Hawaii property and moved to the beautiful southern Oregon foothills and purchases a small country property with a modest, but paid for home. We make every effort to live within our means and make sure that our treasure is not in what we possess and we believe in being good stewards of what we have been given. Our treasure is our relationships and by that measurement, I am a very rich man. My life is full and richly blessed. Not a single one of the achievements above can be credited to me. Every good thing in my life is a gift from God. Out of gratitude, I desire to help others know Him and experience the richness of His love and the same full life he offers.