tattoo stories

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I got this "half sleeve" done over the summer. Each part of the tattoo has significance and I thought I'd take a minute to show off my ink! The symbol on my shoulder is known as the "Sacred Heart". It's a Catholic symbol. It symbolizes the heart of Jesus Christ. It has a crown of thorns and the side is pierced and blood and water both flow out of it. The cross at the top is symbolic of death, and the cross is being consumed because Christ conquered death and the grave.

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On the back of my arm is a drawing of Hudson Taylor. Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China in the late 1800s. Hudson dressed, ate, worked, and spoke as the Chinese when missionaries typically told natives that they needed to become "western" in order to become Christian. He had become one of them and had earned their respect. As a result the missions organization that Hudson founded, "China Inland Mission", is to this day the most successful Chinese missions organization.
I've always considered Hudson Taylor a kind of hero in the faith.

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Oh, by the way... Did you get your tickets to the GUN SHOW?!?!?!?

I have the Greek word "Doulos" tattooed on the inside of my arm. Doulos means "Slave, Servant, or Bondservant". Doulos has a connotation of service, not because you seek reward, or because you are were purchased as a slave, but that you are compelled to serve. As if something within you compells you to serve this master, no matter the reward, or the cost.

I also have a tattoo on the back of my neck. You can see a picture of it, and read the story behind it by CLICKING HERE.

Yes, they hurt.

The inside of the arm hurt the worst, especially up towards the armpit. The top of the shoulder was pretty bad, and right on the spine on my neck didn't exactly tickle either. The outside of the arm was cake though, I actually fell asleep in the middle of a 4 hour session.
The whole half sleeve took about 20 hours altogether.
I can see what people mean when they say that it's addictive but I'm pretty sure I'm done. I'm not planning on any other major pieces anyway. I'll probably have a little black and gray clouds in between the waves and the Sacred Heart at some point, but that's all I'm planning now.

I'm really happy with the way they turned out!
Sim does a great job if you're looking to decorate your temple. www.simtattoo.com


Jenny Jorg said...

Sweet deal! It's looks pretty awesome-props for enduring that much pain and time.
I myself have scheduled the appointment to get my tattoo! No nearly as grand, just simple but effective. I think I've told you b4 right?
Anyways, I'm going next Tuesday!! Any suggestions to prepare?

St. Renegade said...

I can't believe you gave me props for my teeny tiny tat when yours are wicked fierce. Esp. love the sacred heart and firey neck tattoo. Love is beauty.

jimmy said...

Jenny, I know you told me that you were getting something. My suggestion to prepare? Vodka. Just kidding. The main thing is don't forget to breathe. When you start feeling the pain you tend to hold your breath. That's when people pass out.

Ooohh... wicked fierce?!?! NICE!!! Thanks Katy!

Katie H said...

yea, i got my ticket to the gun show, and i want my money back. just kidding bro. but seriously, nice stories behind the art. i love when tattoos actually mean something. of course, i've got a few that mean diddly squat, but my sleeve has a nice story behind it. I plan on posting pics and a story about it when it's done, thanks to some encouragement from badlydrawnben.
and jenny, yes, just breathe. make SURE you eat before you go. Bring water with you if it's gonna be a long one and when you get to a part that starts to hurt a lot, pinch the hell out of your hand, leg, etc. with your finernails. That takes the focus of your pain elsewhere. And also, don't be afraid to tell whoever is tatting you to stop if you need a break. They won't get mad or think you're lame. Ok, good luck! Have fun. It IS addicting.

The Rev said...

Hudson Taylor's biography is one to the best I've ever read, I meant to ask you who that was last time you were here...By the way nice bicep...but trim back the arm pit hair.

Anonymous said...

Awesome. You're my hero. Thanks for blazing the trail,
Pastor Jimmy.

ben said...

I knew about the Sacred Heart and the Doulos tattoos but not about the Hudson Taylor bit...that's awesome big brother...I can't wait to spend some time on the ideas I've got floating around in my heeeed! As in "HEEED, PAWNTS NEOW!"

By the way, don't think for a minute that your cool tattoos can erase the nerd pictured in the previous post...now you're just a nerd with cool tattoos:)

jamie said...

I really dig the Hudson Taylor tattoo as well...no one ever gots missionary tattoos anymore!

Hidden Valley Girl said...

Jim ~ Love the tats . . . seems like you spent endless hours at your desk or whatever you do dreaming about them . . . ooohh, sucks for the boss - I bet ya didn't get too much done for him!!! Anywhoo, I'm sure they'll look even cooler when your 65 and all shriveled and wrinkly, hahahhahahaaa!! J/K I like messin' wit cha!!

Ben ~ weren't we ALL really just nerds? I think I have a discriminating pic or two of you somewhere in my endless piles of old pics . . .

ben said...

Nikki, can you say Rollerblades?
I have no doubt that you would be able to find pictures of me as a nerd in pretty much anywhere you look...bring it on, I've got a few of you too:)

Hidden Valley Girl said...

Ben ~ All I have to say about me then and me now; two words . . . LATE BLOOMER!!! (For shuuurre!!)

Anonymous said...



Homebrewer said...

Lookin good bro. I'm staying black for now, but your make me think about getting some color.

BTW you know you are lying to yourself about being done. You'll end up connecting the sleeves to your back somehow, Like a full Yakusa style shirt.

matt harris said...

man... this is awesome... fighting you way out of the shell of 'Christianity' to come into the presence of God in our culture is a phenomenal process... you totally have a head up on a lot of people who think they know what following Christ means... its refreshing to see so many people starting to attach themselves to this movement away from 'the church' as a building and into 'the church' as a lifestyle and ministry... keep it up bro... btw, i am totally copying your duolos tattoo with the waves... its really tight...

jimmy said...

Right on Matt! Thanks for stopping by.

grace and peace, jimmy

Anonymous said...

Hey man, nice doulos tatto.

I've got one myself!

jimmy said...

That's great Will, thanks for stopping by.

Neal_Taylor said...

Love the Tatt's! Stumbled across the site after looking for images of Hudson Taylor for a blog post I have written. Love the tatt of him and that your heart is similar to his!

Shalom from downunder!

Waddyathink said...

Hey Jimmy,

I found your tattoo after a Google Image Search on Hudson Taylor's name. AWESOME!!

You should check out OMF International's web site: www.omf.org/us

(We had to change our name after the communists took over. ;)

If you liked Hudson Taylor's story, you'll LOVE J.O. Fraser's story. We just came out with a DVD last year: Breakthrough. www.jofraser.org

Also, check out the video on this site. Perhaps you could serve as a volunteer ministry advocate. www.omf.org/us/volunteer

In His grace,
Victor C
OMF Regional Mobilizer

jimmy said...

Thanks so much Victor. It's such an amazing testimony to Hudson's vision that the mission still carries on!
I'll definitely check out those links.

grace and peace, jimmy