Monday, August 31, 2009

Blogging From Ottawa

A vacation week. One of my favourite things to do is hang out in Ottawa and spend my day biking thru the city. Yup. And the sun's out!

Listening to: CHRI
Thinking about: biking along the Rideau Canal for 3 days.
Reading: Psalms and "Teamwork" by Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Elvis Costello - "My Aim Is True" - 1977. It was the beginning of the new wave era, which was a softer branch of punk. Not today's pop/punk, but real punk. Punk like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.

Back then his act was a bit angry, a bit Buddy Holly, and a bit mysterious but over the years, he's mellowed and almost, debonair. His stage character is a little less enraged as he's branched out to become a connoisseur of music appreciation. While I have not followed Elvis since the early 80's, I have known him to dabble in country, big band swing, jazz and indie rock. He's played with Burt Bacharach and Alison Krause.

Friday night, Elvis Costello and the Sugarcanes played Massey Hall in Toronto - the same venue where I, as a 20-year old, watched him play "Alison" and "The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes."

This show was without a fancy set, no video, no pyro. Just solid craftsmanship.

Elvis walked out at 8pm - no opening act. In the middle of the stage waited their instruments - a fiddle, an accordion, a mandolin, a flute, a couple guitars, double bass - no drums. It was all about the music, played by masterful musicians who backed-up Elvis, yet still let him have the spotlight.

So the set opened with "My Resistance Is Low" made famous in 1948 in a film by Jane Russell followed by a similar sounding but new Elvis song "My All Time Doll". The old hits "Blame It On Cain" and "Red Shoes" were re-vented by the impeccably tight 6-piece Sugarcanes that left me with the feeling that this was a band of polished musicians.

Always one to know the set list before going to a show, I was not expecting to hear "Happy", written by the Rolling Stones. And I was half-hoping that Elton John would appear during an encore, since Elvis and Elton are close friends, and Elton spends a lot of time in Toronto with his partner David Furnish. But that didn't happen.
In the encore, Elvis gave me what I wanted - "Alison" - but it was the new track -"Sulphur To Sugarcane" - that I'll remember most.

Elvis is 55. He's musically inventive. He knows a lot more than a 4/4 new wave beat. And that inspires me.

Friday, August 28, 2009

It's All About The Bike (sorry lance)

Considering this summer has been cloudy, rainy and, for the most part, kinda cool, I've gotten some good miles on my bike. I make a note each day of my mileage and I seem to be averaging about 200km a week, often more. I'm pretty happy with that.

Sadly, I haven't been part of any organized rides this year. I'm not much for early mornings and most group rides start at 8am, and most are out of town. Maybe I'll do the Lindsay "A Place Called Home Ride".

As someone who likes doing things differently all the time, it's odd that my biking route is predictable. Same route, almost every day. I wonder if the residents in Shanty Bay and Hawkestone set their watches with my routine.

In the saddle - which by the way IS comfortable - I can put the rest of the ride on auto-pilot. The ride is therapeutic for me - I get a lot of stuff sorted out mentally. New ideas for LIFE. Sorting out problems. While I ride, I make audio notes in my cell dictaphone. Then, when I get home, I have a major "to do" list that I gave myself! Haha! Well, I'm a detail-type of person so that's how I keep it all straight.

Here's a quick video of my on the bike.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I've had a couple of crappy days. Down, lonely, unhappy and a bit disconnected with God. A friend told me to re-charge by reading one Psalm in the morning and another at night. Sounds like a good plan so I'm doing that.

After my 40 km on the bike, I went to workout at the gym. (Stop bragging!) I usually listen to a mix of Christian songs or some classic rock but last night I selected my "praise and worship" playlist. I know - not exactly gym material! Guitars and rockin' band - that's real gym music.

My playlist went something like this:

"Everyday" Hillsong
"God Of This City" Kris Allen
"Banner Over Me" Vineyard
"Arise" Don Moen
"Hallelujah To My King" Paul Baloche

I bet the 20 year old gym-rats would be surprised! Haha! Anyway, the songs picked me up. Oh ya - doubling the meds is helping too!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


In the halls of LIFE, we're still pretty stoke about the 10th Anniversary concert. Tons of email "congrats" are coming in from listeners and advertisers. It's neat to know that this celebration isn't confined to employees, but shared by - well, everyone.

After intermission, the show paused while the staff ran a tribute to me. I wasn't expecting it. Somewhere about halfway through this 9 minute video, I realized, "uh oh... this is a tribute to me!" However did they pull this off without my knowing about it?

Thanks to the LIFE DJs for their kind words. Nice to have a greeting from my friends who make the music. And to those people who are part of my radio history. And especially the greeting from Ra McGuire - whom I pray for everyday.

If you missed the vid, here you go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


As a radio guy, I've lived in a bunch of different cities and, although I've been a member, I've never stuck with one denomination.

I think it's funny that Christian regard their denomination more than simply being a Christian. Baptists ONLY go to a Baptist church, even if they move to another city and Pentecostals ONLY go to a Pentecostal church.

Alot of stuff confuses me about God, partly because of denominations. They each believe something slightly different - and neither are willing to budge on their beliefs.

So who's right? They tell me they are both right and the other church has "it all wrong". (I've actually been told that by pastors.)

One Christian friend attends a church that claims their church is not a denomination, and they told me they don't approve of "denominations" because denominations aren't doing what the Bible says. But THEY are.

I've been part of a few churches. A Pentecostal church, vineyard church, missionary church and alliance churches. I feel like I have a good perspective of Jesus and I like the fact that different pastors and friends have poured into me. I'm not a one-denomination type of guy. But, I still have a lot of questions about how God moves. Is it just me? By asking these questions, I feel like a heathen.

Like, how come we keep praying for the same thing every day? A salavation. A healing. A relationship. Didn't God hear us the first time? I know he did - so why be a pest? Ya I know - we pray for our benefit, not His. Ya ya.

We pray for healing of cancer but people die anyway. I know they're eventually going to die, but if we prayed for healing and God didn't heal, why do we make excuses for God, like, "oh He answered the prayer in His way. We don't understand His ways". Uh huh. What does that mean?

Why do churches disagree about the role of women in the church? I'm told "it's very clear. Just read the Bible". Ya right - then why do you guys disagree?

I won't even mention tongues. Who's right on that issue? Well, one church is right and one is wrong. It can't be both.

Why did Jesus speak in parables? Why didn't he just explain it? Now we all argue about what He really was really saying.

Like the final words of Jesus the three gospels "the final words" are all recorded differently. If they were FINAL words, how can they be different? Wouldn't the saviour of the world want his final words remembered accurately? Or did the writers of the Bible mess it up? Listen, if I was on my deathbed and my kids were by my side, I'm sure they would both want to remember MY finals words and not a misquote from someone else. Instead, we have a variation of his final words.

We each read God's stories with a different interpretation. Even the church denominations (including the church that doesn't think its a denomination) disagree on these subjects.

Is it ok to have questions, after being saved for 20 years? I think I have more questions every year and I don't really get any answers. Am I being irreverent?

Monday, August 24, 2009


Friday night was the LIFE 10th anniversary/Lincoln Brewster concert. I could write a series of blogs about my favourite moments - the audience, the songs, the video surprise, our very good looking staff (haha!). And from what I heard backstage, I could probably write another blog all about our visiting rock star's requests. But I won’t pop any illusions you may have.

Two big surprises. The appearance by my son Brett - on stage. Brett and his wife live in Nashville and to my knowledge his immigration green card was not approved. Little did I know, it was!

My daughter Crystal was on stage at intermission talking about our family days in Nashville where there are many Christian stations to choose from and our relocation to Barrie where there was a Christian radio void. From the stage Crystal said, "too bad Brett can’t be here..." and then - he walked out on stage! W-H-A-T??!!

My first response was "the U.S. border control isn’t going to let you return!"

Then I thought.... "how did they hide you from me?" Apparently, he had been in hiding all day, avoiding my usual routes. During the concert my wife had Brett sitting in the car, at the side of the road for the entire first half of the show, waiting for a cell call. I didn’t suspect a thing.

After Brett took his seat and Lincoln hit the stage, I noticed about three songs later that Gretyl (Brett’s wife) was also in our row!

God has done so many amazing things through LIFE 100.3. It’s not an overstatement to say that listeners have grown in character and faith because of LIFE’s ministry. That’s why we do it. Thank you, everyone, who affirms me and my staff of our ministry’s impact.

I was so very proud of four particular people. Luke Langman, Paul Turner, Jody Cross and Andy Horrocks.

Luke, Paul and Jody were the three artists who opened our show and warmed up the crowd before Lincoln’s performance. We asked each guy - Luke, Paul and Jody - to sing two songs that were familiar through radio airplay. Each guy was more than amazing! Each song came "alive" on stage.

Luke - He’s probably the newest radio artist of the three, yet he looked so comfortable. I was so proud to see him perform "Change The World" for such a receptive crowd.

Paul - "Earthquake". I have loved this song since it was released and everytime I play it, I crank the studio speakers.

Jody - Maybe the most seasoned of the three - but he’s the oldest! Haha! Hearing "Bigger" made me think, again, about how big God is, how much I don’t know or will ever understand.

Luke, Paul and Jody - I am so proud of you guys! Thank you for sharing your songs with us on this special night.

Andy - I chose Andy Horrocks to be the band leader. He’s the guy who arranged the songs, picked the back-up musicians and kept the first three artists running a tight set. Andy is not only the producer of all three Karaoke Superstar artists - he has also become a great friend of LIFE 100.3. He gets us. He knows what we want and he always delivers! I value our relationship very much.

Lincoln was the "star" performer. He rocked the house for 90 minutes with "Everlasting God" and "Love The Lord" and sharing stories about his family.

I will take this moment to thank Pastor Rick Buck, the senior pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church, for allowing us to take over the auditorium for the day. A great, comfortable, well-equipped venue. Thanks Rick!

Tomorrow, the video replay of "the surprise greeting" from my staff, to me. Haha!

Friday, August 21, 2009


Tonight is the LIFE 100.3 10th Anniversary Party with Lincoln Brewster, Luke Langman, Jody Cross and Paul Turner. A great line-up of music.

Last night there were four tornados reported in our listening area. Lots of rain. Crazy winds. I was thinking today, had last night’s weather come today, it could have affected travel plans of people coming to town for our anniversary concert. As it was, the plane carrying Lincoln and his band sat on the tarmac in Toronto for three hours, waiting to get to the gate. Apparently they didn’t get to Barrie until 2am.

I don’t think I slept last night. This morning I rode 20km to get some energy in my body.

It’s hard to believe the result of an idea. The idea of starting a Christian radio station. The result being thousands and thousands of people’s souls being touched. I see LIFE bumper stickers on cars owned by people I have probably never met, and may never meet. Yet, they have a bumper sticker on their car that, at one time, was just an idea in my head. I’m touched by those bumper stickers every time I see one.

I hear stories of how Christian music has inspired people. Songs that provided reassurance during the storms of life. While the storm is raging and our troubles are many, the songs remind us that God is with us through our troubles and we’re not alone. All that, from a song on the radio.

Tonight, Lincoln will be singing many of those songs. "Every day it’s you I live for...." I can’t wait!*!*!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I think I’ve mentioned on the blog that I have "moderate depression". When I wrote yesterday’s blog, I was really feeling bummed out. That situation which I wrote about, and another situation with someone (not at LIFE), set me off. If you have depression, you know how hard it is to get out of the darkness. Nothing works. You just sulk and stay silent.

Tuesday night when it really kicked in, I called four friends, hoping one of them would "talk me up" and no one came through for me. So the night spun down. Probably the sleeping pills and Tylenol Tuesday night had a lot to do with the hangover of darkness the next day - the day I wrote the blog.

Yesterday, I got invited to a friend’s house for dinner last night. During dinner, the depression came off and the night was fun. Me and my dinner buddy hit the gym, and then I ran into another buddy there and we went for an 11 o’clock swim.

This depression thing is really crappy. There are a couple of situations that act as triggers and if I know they’re coming, I can work through it or avoid feeling depressed. But there’s a couple of other situations that I cannot avoid. I have anxiety about them and unfortunately the end result is "a really bad night".

So what?

So right now, 10% of the population is on an antidepressant and afraid to tell anyone because friends won’t understand. You’re not alone. My friends understand my battle with depression but they do a lousy job of helping me out of the darkness. They don’t take my phone calls or provide an exit for me. I usually sleep it off.

Oh, if you’re wondering - do I do a radio show when I’m depressed? Yes, most of the time. I plow through coz - "the show must go on". Fun huh?

Today is good. Praise God.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I ran into a guy yesterday who I haven't seen in nearly ten years. In fact, he was a key donor to LIFE to help us get started. One day, ten years ago, I made a LIFE business plan to help him understand my vision for LIFE and to ask for a donation. I remember being nervous and I knew I only had 15 minutes to make my case and ask for the donation.

He listened. He agreed with my vision. Then I stumbled over asking for a donation. But I did ask and he readily wrote me a cheque.

As I was leaving, I felt compelled for a critique because he was a straight-shooter. So I said, " did I do?". He smiled and said, "Good. But don't forget to ask for the money. It's important". Ya. Pretty important to close the deal, right?

So, I met up with him by accident last night. I said, "hey Mr. Somebody. Guess what! It was 10 years ago that we started LIFE 100.3!"

"Well good for you. Would you like to help me with my business"? (Whaaaat? I laughed. He's super-weathy.) "Well," he said, "I helped you. Why don't you help me?" Ooooh this was getting awkward.

I started to ask about his business and he interrupted me and said, "people always ask me for money for their projects, but nobody returns the favour".

I was dumbfounded. I thought donors gived unselfishly, without condition, without expectation, giving for the pleasure of giving. Is the giver expected to give back to the same donor?

"That's the same look I get from everyone," he laughed, making me feel like a dork.

He started repeating the conversation and me giving him money coz, apparently, it's my turn.

I replied, "Well sir, I want you to know that you did a good thing for LIFE when you sewed that seed ten years ago. God has blessed us so much. This year at LIFE our donations are strong, our staff is stable, we have no debts and we only buy things when the money is in the back." I thought that would bless him.

He said, "oh, so you are going to give me money because you're loaded." Well, LIFE is a charity and give to other charities, especially to help Christian radio managers with their start-up. But we don't really give to "for profit" companies.

I said, "well I'll pray about that. Have a nice summer."

Being a person with moderate depression, his crazy talk just sent me over the edge. He was not only a giver, but he imparted wisdom to me and I want to bless him with my thanks.

My pastor once told me don't accept any donation that has strings attached. Walk away.

I'm thinking quite seriously about sending back his $5,000 and telling him to bite me. I am so steamed.

I'd love to tell you his name because he's a local well-known guy. But I'll just bite my tongue and plow through the depression I'm left with.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I went to see the movie "Julie and Julia" last night. Ok, my wife wanted to go and I wanted to do something together. She went to Star Trek with me, so it was my turn to see one of her girly movies.

Actually, I don't mind girly movies. They're a bit trite and simple - nothing explodes and there's no superheroes, but if you're prepared for that, then it's ok.

My wife read the review and friends had commented that the movie is very uplifting and you leave the theatre feeling motivated. I'm good with that.

Now, be warned guys, it's a cooking movie. Lots of cooking. Julia Child is famous for french cooking, even though she isn't french. That's part of the fun. Meryl Streep plays the role. She's fabulous in character but the character's voice is very very annoying.

The other main character wants to follow in her footsteps, "Julie" works in a boring job in a desk cubical and after work she runs home and cooks up another recipe from Julia's cook book. She does it everyday for a year and writes a blog about her activity, almost like a salute to her mentor whom she's never met.

Two bad things - spoiling ending - please note.

At the climax of the movie, Julia Child hears about the blog and puts down the girl who worships her. They could have left it out and the movie ending would have been positive. It wasn't an important part to the plot but to me it just sort of spoiled it all. I left feeling - "wow after all that fame and influence and mentoring, Julia Child is a cranky old jerk". Hmm.

I love movies. I love renting movies, especially movies I've already seen. But this won't be one of them. Don't waste your time. Go see "Forever Strong" instead!

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Ascension. The name popped up on the day of Ascension the day that Jesus left earth for heaven. Sounds like a good name for a band, right?!

Well a twisted version of Ascension performed at the Huntsville Fairgrounds on Saturday for Gospel Music Day and afternoon of mostly traditional gospel, country, bluegrass and a bit of contemporary worship.

Normally our band plays worship music with a very slight edge, with the background vocals of Nancy and Charles West. However, Saturday afternoon, our was comprised of singer Pauli Pine, Adam Cormier on guitar, Eric Helliwell on bass, who was on loan to us, and me on drums. We wondered can we pull it off? Will it be an embarrassing mess? Will this be the end of our music careers? Haha!

Fueled by a rockin' practice on Friday, we four were ready to take to the stage with this "new sound" of Ascension.

Upon arrival at the Fairgrounds, we found the agenda running behind, just like a typical festival. In fact, the early performers forced Ascension to hit the stage an hour late. But when we did, we played hard.
Our "bass player on loan", Eric, told us to just have fun. "Guys, don't worry about technique. Don't worry about wrong notes. The practice is over. Just have fun." He was a real encouragement and put my mind at ease.

The emcee introduced the sponsors, including LIFE 100.3, which he managed to botch up into a name something like FM 98 LIFE radio. Obviously he has not listened to the station. It always irks me when we take the time to sponsor an event by pouring thousands of air time into the promotion and, from the stage, they don't get our name right. Ah well.

Blam! Our first song kicked "Holy Is The Lord." We feared our opening song would "flip the house" and send the older country music fans back to the horseshoe pit because this version of Ascension was a four piece rock band, not the nice worship band as before. Remember, our lead was on vacation and haha so were we!

Fans stayed. They clapped along. Applauded! Sang!

In the middle of the set, Eric comes over to the kit and shouts at me "anytime you want to just get together and jam, let me know!" I said " like us don't you!" Quite a compliment from a guy on loan. Gosh, we had fun!

Our three original songs came off quite tasty, too. "Set Me Free" written by Charles West is a mostly softer song about asking God to help us through the regular trials of life". "Lord Let Us Love You" was written by our singer Pauli Pine a beautiful, melodic song with a fun rhythm, humbling asking God to use us as we are. And, "Victorious", written by Adam Cormier is a straight ahead rocker that simply "Praises the Lord".

The drum kit the promoter provided was an acoustic kit from Bethel Church. Our sound guy Dave spent an excessive amount of time on miking it and balancing each drum so we would have the punch to cut through the outdoor pavilion. Not using a digital kit, I switched from regular sticks to "hotrods" which are sticks make up of a dozen little wooden straws glued together into a half inch stick. I can put a little muscle into the rhythm without the regular noise level. The hotrods chipped and after the first three songs, splintered into the air with each beating, barely missing my eyes and by song four I was back to the regular Headhunters maple sticks.

I've played gigs with Ascension before. All church gigs. Church is nice. But this turned out to be the most fun show for me. It was "the 4 piece rock band version of Pauli Pine and Ascension. We didn't have our leader "the warden" checking every beat and note for perfection. We just played what was inside us we just had fun.

That's why I joined... for fun!

Another dream come true that I never thought would happen. I figured that being a drummer in a band had passed me by. Not so. Hmmm. I may never go on tour and I may never play with Switchfoot, but Ascension is just what I need at just the right time.

Hope Blake, Dottie and Doug bring us back next year!

Setlist - August 15, 2009

Holy Is the Lord
Sing To The King
Lord Let Us Love You (original)
Mighty To Save
Set Me Free (original)
Lord I Lift Your Name On High
Victorious (original)
Beautiful One

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I achieved a bit of a gym-goal. I’m hesitant to share it because sometimes when you reach a goal, people think you’re boasting. Well, I guess they think what they want to think - so - whatever.

I go the gym pretty regularly. I like the atmosphere. I like getting out of the house. And I like staying in shape and trying to beat the age progress. You know that feeling? It’s when you look in the mirror and exclaim - "who’s that?!" Hahaha.

Well last winter I weighed 187 and realized that it was more than I liked. And, as in the past, I wanted to be 180 but unwilling to give up the Coke and chips.

I challenged myself to get less than 180 by spring and if I could find the willpower, I’d go for 175, just to see how I felt at that weight. Maybe be a bit leaner, if that isn’t too vain.

Last night when I weighed in I was 168. I’m pretty happy. Here’s what I did.

I stopped working out with a partner. Some partners have been really good coaches but of my friends just want to "lift more". My goal wasn’t to be bigger. That’s what you wish for when you’re 17. When you’re older, you want to lose weight! I didn’t want to get bigger.

Without a partner, I reduced the amount of time in the gym. No chatter.

Next I found an ab workout video on You Tube, demonstrated by some ripped 25 year old. In the video, he does about 20 different exercises, all for abs, which is a lot more interesting than a zillion non-stop crunches. I don’t know anything about the guy but the routine is awesome.

I’ve never been interested in supplements but a gym rat told me about an EAS powder supplement product and I decided to give it a try. It maximizes my after-work-out repair-time. I suppose it’s helping but not totally sure.

Lastly, and the most significant change in my workouts was using an iPod for music. The earphones have eliminated the distractions from the gym-music, the general conversations in the gym and the spinning class. My choice of gym-music has kept me really focused on the goals.

Each time I went to the gym and saw my weight decrease, even by a pound, I was encouraged. I cut back on Coke and chips a wee bit, and even a wee bit seems to have made a difference. And a couple of people commented on the change, so that kept me looking forward to the next workout.

Oh, one other thing. My summer milage on the bike kept my cardio up, doing about 150-200 km a week during biking season. To me, biking does not feel like exercise. It’s a place for my mind to refresh and buffer.

So that’s my system. Did I encourage you?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


One of the cool things about working in radio is you get to hear a lot of great music. Right now I’m hooked on B. Reith. He’s a hiphop artist and I guess most people my age have an adversity to hiphop. So, at this point I haven’t convinced Steve Jones to add him to the playlist on my show. For now you can hear B. Reith on the Slam.

I’ve got a couple of his songs in my iPod and it makes the gym workout time a lot more productive.

B. Reith. Check out "Go On" and "Mess". Both songs are from "The Forecast", an EP.
New album drops in September. ("Drops" - that’s a hip word. I heard AJ use it.)

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This Saturday afternoon, our band Ascension is playing at the Huntsville fairgrounds. I think this will be our first non-church show, which is pretty cool. Nobody preaching, no girly announcements, no offering - just us doing a 45-minute set. Nice!

Here’s a partial set-list:

Lord Let Us Love You - an original by Pauli Pine, our singer. It’s got a great groove, but not too cool for worship leaders to add to their worship set.

Might To Save - Laura Story, I’m sorry. Our version is just a wee bit better!

Beautiful One - Tim Hughes wrote it but Jeremy Camp made it a radio hit.

Victorious - a song written by our guitarist Adam Cormier. It’s got a good rock beat. I like it. It’s a keeper.

Set Me Free - I believe this was co-written by Charles West and Pauli Pine.

For the last year I’ve been banging on an electric kit, which I’ve come to really appreciate. So has our sound guy, Dave. But from what I hear, the organizers are having everyone play on an acoustic kit so I’ll bring my hotrods and hopefully make alot of noise.

You wanna come? 1pm, Saturday, Huntsville Fairgrounds.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

His Banner Over Me Is Love

I was at the gym yesterday, working out, listening to my iPod. I usually listen to upbeat stuff like Relient K, Anberlin and some classic rock stuff but for a change I programmed a praise and worship set. Haha - Not the best music to work out to, but it gave me an uncanny feeling of God’s love.

It was really amazing. Visually, I was at the gym, but in my headspace I felt like I was somewhere else. Somewhere alone, but good.

Then I got "a feeling" like I should listen to only praise and worship music for a month - nothing else - and see how I feel.

Should I? Is that a Holy Spirit thing, or just a random thought?

Friday, August 7, 2009


For my birthday a few weeks ago, my wife got me a custom license plate. I think some people call them "vanity Plates". I like "custom". Anyway, I’ve noticed a lot of license plates with the Toronto Maple Leaf logo, and the Remembrance Day Poppy and the "heart".

Well, I just read about another image you can get on your license plate. Jesus. A drawing of Jesus. Too bad you can only get it if you live in Florida, but maybe someone in Ontario would have the initiatve to get the licensing office to offer drawings of Jesus. Is that cool? I know I know - Canadians aren’t as bold about their faith as Americans.

I talked about this on the air last week. When I got to my office, a listener had left an angry voicemail. (Not uncommon. Listeners often like to complain about Christian radio, especially if they’re financial supporters.) I listened to the fellow complain about how improper it is for me to have a vanity plate because I am "taking advantage of listener donations". Then he hung up.

I was so steamed I tracked down his number, phoned him up (off the air) and asked him why my personal spending bothered him. He said his money was supporting my bad spending. So since he is a donor, I asked him about taking my staff out for dinner and where he would draw the line at an acceptable level of spending. He asked me why I would do a staff dinner. I said, "well for team building and to say thank you for your extra hard work". And he said - "why would you want to do that?".

I know LIFE 100.3 is listener supported and we try to be good stewards of all the money that comes in. I guess different people view expenses differently. But one thing that really saddens me is conditional donations. When we give, we give to help, to support and show our passion.

There’s no strings, right?

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Hey, I’ve got another movie to recommend to you. And - it’s "pastor-approved!". It’s a movie produced by T.D. Jakes - the evangelist. "Not Easily Broken" is about young couple going through the trials of marriage. If that sounds a lot like "Fireproof", ya, that occurred to me to. But I think the acting in "Broken" is a bit more professional and the script is a bit edgier.

For some reason I think that a movie that is overly Christian would be "all Christian" - the actors, the writers, everyone. Producers don’t promote the movie that way - just assumption I tend to make.

Morris Chestnut is the lead actor, got his first role playing "Jason" in "A Nightmare On Elm Street" and probably best known for his role in "Boyz n the Hood", neither of which would appeal to me but he handled the role very convincingly.

It’s a PG13 movie with "parents strongly cautioned" for its sexual references and several uses of the word "ass" in a variety of ways. If it weren’t for the fact that T.D. Jakes was behind it all, I might have passed on it. I’m glad I didn’t.

T.D. Jakes is the founding pastor of The Potter’s House, a mega-church in Dallas.

Movie link: