Friday, December 31, 2010

The Top 50 of 2010

My favourite radio day of the year - the year-end countdown show!

I remember listening to 1050 CHUM when I lived in Toronto. The 1969 countdown was my first. As I recall "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" by the Fifth Dimension was #1. I sat there with my crappy cassette player, recording the songs I liked. After that, I spent almost every New Year's Eve listening to the radio, writing down the songs and keeping track.

Some people never grow up. Now I am the host of the countdown. The 50 best songs of the year, played in a row, with artist interviews. What could be more fun??

Here's the LIFE 100.3 countdown list. Enjoy. (a larger version is here.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ski Lift Derailed!

Have you seen the movie “Frozen”? It’s about three friends who go downhill skiing. The hill is about to close for the night but the three people take one last ride up the hill before closing. Then, the ski hill lights on the hill go out, the hill shuts down and the skiers are stuck on the lift - for days! They battle storms, dehydration, lack of a bathroom and - well, I won’t spoil it.

Caution - ignore the lousy movie reviews by other people - I found it very suspenseful!

On a similar note, the other day in Maine, the ski lift busted. The cable derailed and the lift chairs came crashing down. Unbelievable! What is more unbelievable is that a CNN reporter just happened to be on the lift. He video taped the action and did live commentary. Ha!

Here’s the story.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

McDonald's Is Confused

What on earth is going on with McDonald’s?

You haven’t heard? They’re selling thai food! That’s ridiculous! They’re also selling wraps? At McDonalds? Yes! And - there’s a McCafe - for coffee!

And healthy apple slices!

Ok, that’s enough! Something has gone horribly wrong!

Restaurants specialize and become known for their specific product. At McDonald’s it’s hamburgers!

Like, if you want a great steak you to go The Keg, you don’t go to Harvey’s. If you chicken you go to Swiss Chalet, not Red Lobster. And if you want a coffee you go to Tim Hortons. That’s how it works. That’s how it’s always worked.

If you want a Beamer you don’t go to a used car lot.

If you want to buy a bicycle - now listen to me because I’m an expert - go a bike specialist like Bikeland. You don’t buy a buy at Canadian Tire - ever.

If you want to buy trendy clothes (ok, we’re getting personal, here) you go to Pinstripe or Le Chateau. You don’t go to Winners.

And - if you want a hamburger? You go to McDonalds. So what is this deal with thai food, wraps, apples and the McCafe? Are they confused?

Ray Kroc must be rolling in his grave!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas from Billy Graham

Billy Graham is 92. He made a surprise appearance at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Watch this video to see Billy give a Christmas message to the staff.

Friday, December 24, 2010

T'was The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the station
Not a DJ was stirring, there was no conversation.
The antenna was hung by the transmitter with care,
In hopes that the CRTC would always be fair.

The DJs were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of backstage concert passes danced in their heads.

Now Junky! Now Evan! Now Scott, Steve and Jen!
On AJ! On Tim! On Woody and Ben!
To the top of the charts with music for all!
Now download, and blog it and post on the wall!

Santa is fun but Jesus is real.
He’s the reason for every season - and that’s deal!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

(It's cheesy, I know. I'm a cheesy guy.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Top 10 - Songs, Movies, Concerts & Moments

Top 10 Favourite Songs of 2010

1. Down And Out/Hello Kelly w/To Tell
2. Impossible/Anberlin
3. iContact/Group1Crew
4. Avalanche/Manafest
5. Before The Morning/Josh Wilson
6. Lifetime/Kris Allen
7. Secrets/One Republic
8. Forest/Number One Gun
9. All We Need Is Love/Dominic Balli
10. Far Away/Lecrae


Top 10 Favourite Movies of 2010

1. Remember Me - Robert Pattinson
2. To Save A Life - Randy Wayne
3. 127 Days - James Franco
4. Extraordinary Measures - Harrison Ford
5. America - Rosie O’Donnell
6. Me And Orson Welles - Zac Efron
7. The Last Song - Miley Cyrus
8. Karate Kid - Jackie Chan
9. Unstoppable - Denzel Washington
10. Frozen - no stars


Top 10 Favourite Concerts of 2010

1. Relient K “Christmas” at Rocketown, Nashville
2. Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill, St. Louis
3. To Tell “CD Release” at Gateway Pentecostal, London
4. Manafest at Air Raid 18, Timothy Christian School, Barrie
5. Anberlin at the Sound Academy, Toronto
6. One Republic at the Phoenix, Toronto
7. The Light Division, Newmarket Alliance
8. Tommy James & the Shondells, Casino Rama, Orillia
9. The Rocket Summer at the Opera House, Toronto
10. Dashboard Confessional at the Phoenix, Toronto
Top 10 Moments of 2010
1. The hill at Woodstock
2. Running up the Rocky steps in Philly
3. Chuck Berry in St. Louis
4. Tour of Rocketown
5. Publication of my book
6. Sabbatical
7. Grand opening of BBR in Nashville
8. Callie
9. Something Orange

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Digital Story of the Nativity

If you're a google, amazon, blogging, social media kinda person - watch this. It's worth it! (Thanks to my friend Pat Lough at POWER 93 for sending it.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Real 12 Days of Christmas

Only 5 days til Christmas! LIFE’s producer, Tim vanDyk, forwarded a You Tube video I thought you might enjoy. It’s a parody of “The 12 Days Of Christmas”. Two American Djs who work in mainstream radio re-wrote the lyrics. I hope this starts your Monday off with a laugh! Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snow

For ever, I’ve been a summer kinda guy. Love the heat! Love the beach! Love biking on the hottest day of the year. Sit on the patio, sleep, listen to music, bask in the glorious sun!

And forever, I’ve been an “I hate winter” guy. Hard to breathe. Too many layers of clothes. Scraping the ice off the car and getting covered in snow and going to work soaking wet. Don’t like skiing. No winter sports. Stay inside til Spring.

This year - it’s different. Why? I dunno. Granted, it’s only been a couple of weeks with snow. It’s still fresh. Still white. Maybe I’ll wake up and start hating winter.

But so far, I find it refreshing and beautiful. (This is not me!) I haven’t minded shovelling the steps so the dog can go outside. Scraping the car hasn’t bothered me a bit. The heavy armour of clothes keeps me warm.

Even my poodle likes the snow. She doesn’t like the extreme cold but she likes the fresh snow, leaping like a gazelle in the powder. Callie is white although next to the snow she looks beige!

As we transition from one season to the next I think of it as “a guarantee”; there will be snow, then flowers, then heat, then a colourful Fall. We’re gonna get them all regardless of which season we enjoy most. Actually, it’s nice to have variety because without it, I’m pretty sure I would be bored - even of summer.

The other day I heard someone say “this is horrible weather”. When your car is crawling through the slush, ya, I guess it’s horrible weather, but God made this horrible weather and I don’t think he thought it was horrible. God doesn’t make a horrible anything. Besides, lots of people love it.

Listen, I reserve the right to change my mind about this, but for now, winter is good. Winter is my friend. And so is my remote car starter.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Story of Jonah

I seem to be in a mood to post videos this week. I dunno why.

I saw this video at church last week. It was hilarious! It's long, but the end is even better than the beginning.

Check it out. Tell me if you like it.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rear Gear


They've thought of everything. I can't believe this! It's a "holiday butt cover". Now you can buy a patch to put over your dog's brown bum so it isn't so - icky! It's called Rear Gear. Only five bucks! Lots of different designs! (seriously??)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old Rock Stars

This is a pretty funny music video by Tim Hawkins. It's called "Old Rock Stars". Well known mainstream songs, lyrics re-written about the artist getting old.

http://dalesdesigns.net/rock-on.htm

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Pure Heart

Notes from today at church, visiting Calvary:

Pastor Lawrence said: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here.” Matthew 3:2

And when you do all heaven will break loose.

I can have my nice stuff as long as it never has me.

Turn off the noise and get alone with God.

You mean I have to put something into this relationship to be a disciplined follower of Jesus? Haha!

Baptised, membership, etc. But am I growing?

Don’t be a lone wolf. Stick it out together.

I should want a change that is so drastic on the inside that I can’t keep it secret on the outside.

Getting away from sin is like Jesus shouting to me “The house is on fire and I am desperately trying to take you to a place of safety. Change your ways!"

Repentance is a U-turn.

******

Music: A Pure Heart/Rusty Nelson
Prayer: “change my life, 100%”

Friday, December 10, 2010

Devotions Without Distractions

Devotions. When is the best time to do them?

I much prefer late evening for anything requiring brain power. If there’s something to create for LIFE 100.3, the late evening seems to welcome ideas and strategy. Except devotions!

Devotions at night? Even though my brain is ready, I often put it off “until just a little later”. Later, seldom happens. The PVR has something recorded I can’t wait to see and it seems to haunt me until I watch it. Or there’s preparing for the next day schedule - work, life. At night I over-analyse scripture; it confuses me; I try to make sense of it by cross-referencing or asking a friend by email and end up giving up.

Morning devotions are working better for me. I’m in a positive, receptive frame of mind but while reading or praying I often daydream about the project of the day at work. Getting derailed with other thinking is very common so I have a blank piece of paper with me and when I get a non-devo idea, I scribble it down and refocus on devos. I seem to be clear thinking and most receptive to understanding God’s will, reading the Bible and spending time thinking about the word if I do it before work. Like now.

“God help me to focus on You. Please teach my mind to shut out the junk of the day.”

Thinking About: Steve’s new son, Aiden
Reading: Matthew 13 (the mustard seed)
Listening To: The Fold “Christmas”
Praying: Great hunger for the Word, employee with vertigo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Coke and Christmas

Christmas music is everywhere. Do you remember the Coke commercial on TV in the 70's called “I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke”??

It started as a commercial, then it was recorded by the New Seekers and became a radio hit.

(Mmmm. My throat is burning for a Coke right now! Ahhh...)

Coke. Christmas. Peace and love. Hippies. And, a hit song. Love those 70's!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

John Lennon - 1980

December 8, 1980. Today is the day John Lennon was murdered by Mark David Chapman. For music fans, this is one of those “I remember where I was” moments.

I was on the air at CKLC in Kingston. It was the late evening shift. I had to break the news to my listeners. It was 11:20pm. The news came across the wire that John Lennon had been shot. I starred at it thinking “Wow - what do I do? This is big. What if it’s a journalistic mistake?”

John Lennon signs an autograph for his killer Mark David Chapman, hours before the murder on 8 December 1980. Photograph: Paul Garesh/UPI, Popperfoto

I hesitated and the next song played while I pondered how and what to say. Then, the wire followed up with the official death announcement.

Before I could crack open the microphone, the studio Batphone lit up. It was Terry Williams my boss. The national wire service was scrolling the news across the bottom of the TV screen and Terry got the news as he watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

“What do I do?”

“Just read the wire copy. And whatever you do - don’t play “Starting Over”!

"Starting Over" was Lennon’s new release on our playlist. I guess Terry thought it would be in bad taste.

My shift ended at 1am. Between 11:30pm and 1am I announced Lennon’s death only twice. That’s it. Twice! It scared me to talk about it on the air in case I didn't sound sincere, or real, or however I was supposed to sound.

A couple of days later there was a candlelight vigil in many cities, showing unity of mourning. Kingston held the vigil at Confederation Park by the waterfront. It was cold and it was packed. Janice and I were there.

Lennon’s death was the first rock star death of my generation. I was too young to remember the passing of Jimi, Janis and Jim, although since then I become a fan of each and have visited Jimi's gravesite in Seattle and Jim's in Paris. It makes them real to me. I guess I think that's as close as I will ever be to them.

Today, December 8th I can recall the event and my announcement of the murder with complete clarity. And to this day, whenever I hear the song “Imagine” - I cry.

Upside - The Movie

I watched a new movie release called “Upside”, produced through Outreach Films. It’s much like “To Save A Life” in that it’s a story of a high school athlete, (in this case lacrosse), and he gets hit on the head and his vision is flipped upside down. The kid finds faith in Christ later in the movie.

Randall Bentley plays the star who you may have seen in the TV series “Judging Amy”.

I watched the “extras” on the DVD - the main characters are all strong Christians in real life, which is an added bonus to me.

Mark Hall of Casting Crowns says - “Upside is an inspiring film about faith and love that challenges us all to follow the unique path God has for us."

The film is not yet released in Canada. Bandito had no idea what it was. Fortunately, I bought a copy in the U.S.

(FYI - the evangelical message doesn't come until after the first hour.)

Check out the trailer.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Me, Relient K, Rocketown and Nashvegas!

A short 48-hours in Nashvegas!

Went to see Relient K - one of my favourite Christian bands. Haven’t seen them in a few years and this show was the “acoustic Christmas show”, that wouldn’t be coming to Canada. It was great to hear “Must Dave Done Something Right” and “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been”. Awesome songs about becoming the people God wants us to be.

The Relient K set also included a series of Christmas songs, with the Relient K flavour that makes each song unique and original. “God Rest Ye Weary Gentleman” is not a Christmas song I enjoy, or understand, but Matt Thiessen is a pioneer at reinventing a tired old Christmas song. And he's Canadian, so that's a bonus!

While my visit was based around the Relient K show, it also included an indepth visit to Rocketown to meet with their staff and find out what makes Rocketown so special. This is their third location. It is one street away from location number 2, which they were forced to leave to make way for “city progress”.

The new location on 5th Avenue gave them a chance to re-invent the floorplan. The concert venue is 9,000 square feet, complete with band green rooms, lighting and staging that is all modular.

Another major part of their ministry is the indoor Skatepark - it is a skateboarders dream! There’s a skateboard merch shop, as well.

In the main doors is a cafe/lunch area. And beyond that are project rooms for breakdancing lessons, art lessons, Bible Studies, tutoring and more. In their “White Building” is a second smaller venue for shows and a bay for “Gears” where people come to work on cars. All of this - the entire Rocketown vision, is designed to build relationships with youth, regardless of their faith, family experiences, or extra curricular problems, and introduce them to the love of Christ. It is a ministry that some churches frown upon because it is not “nice, clean church” but rather reaching the unloved misfits that the church snubs. (I think that is the entire point.)

The Rocketown staff are loving, creative, hard-working and daring. I admire them all very much. I was blessed to have the one-on-one attention. I would love to lead a ministry like this in Central Ontario. I wonder if it is viable? If Ontario has a heart of the misfits outside the church and will welcome them in. More on that another time! Haha!

Leaving Nashville was once again, a sad experience. I love the city. I love the southern hospitality. I love the mirade of Christian concerts. I love AC Jazz 8033!

But, where God has me is the best place to be, right? Am I right? Somebody remind me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Accountability Partners

I've heard alot of sermons about the value of having an accountability partner. It sounds great. Have you tried it? I have - four times. It failed every time.

As I understand it, the concept of an accountability partner is to help you lead a disciplined life for Christ by asking the partner three questions every time we meet. “How is your walk? Are you lying to me? How can I help you be more disciplined?”

I chose each of the four guys based on my assessment that each guy was further ahead of me in his spiritual journey and each could pour into me the stuff I had not found on my own.

We failed. One guy canceled on me more often than we met. (Boy did I feel unimportant.) The others faded into fellowship. All four stopped asking me the tough questions. Being a partner, I guess I have to share the blame.

Frankly, I think we’ve made our own lives so busy that we don’t have time to spend time pouring into someone else on a regular basis. Or, maybe we really don’t care about other people as much as we tell God in our prayers. (I know, I know - you hate it when I verbalize what you are too scared to say yourself. Sorry. No I’m not.)

I highly doubt I will try the accountability partner deal again. Four times is a bust.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy?

I read in the Toronto Star today about a survey that states that people who live in Toronto are the most unhappiest people in Canada. Toronto business people are stressed out and immigrants face employment problems.

Provincially, Ontario and BC are tied for last happy place. That’s weird. I always hear BC people brag about “the majestic mountains on this side and the lovely ocean on that side.” Big deal. It rains everyday, too.

The Star says the happiest people are in Quebec and PEI.

I’m not sure about Quebec. Every time I’ve driven through Montreal I thought the drivers were insane. I wasn't happy.

PEI - I can see that. The pace of life is slower. The cliffs overlooking the Northumberland Strait are incredible! The only problem with PEI is crazy toll you have to pay to leave the island. That’s right - you can come to PEI for free, spend your money, eat and have fun but if you want to leave it's $42. But, I agree, PEI people seem real happy - from those who I talked to on my last visit.

As a country, Canada ranks 5th as the happiest nation in the G7. (Is that 5 out of 7?)

Well, I’m happy. Happy to be Canadian!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Three Places You Need To Visit

1 - Blog by Crystal Martin - my daughter. Her "8 Kinds Of Awesome" is talking about Narnia. Crystal is into audio books. I must confess - I have never read/listened to an audio book. I probably won't either unless someone drops one in my lap. Crystal reads - alot.


2 - Kristen updated my personal website - christianflamethrower.com. Recent updates about my adventures working at LIFE 100.3. ("My LIFE Story") Photos and stories from my perspective. Give it 20 seconds to load.

3 - Artists looking for a sweet recording deal in Nashville? Mixing, demos, vocals, mastering. Have I got a place for you! BBR Studio. Ya, give my son Brett some business. Please and thanks.


Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Status

LIFE 100.3 is lovin' the new music intro for our 7pm "Slammin' Christian Hits" show. It's called "Tonight", music and lyrics by Brett Baird, recorded at BBR in Nashville. Lovin' it! Makin' the Slam sound fRe$H!

Reading: Deuteronomy 28. His blessings over take us.
Praying: New friend who just got saved.
In my iPod: House of Heroes “God Save The Foolish Kings” “Imagine” Melissa Greene; “Mine” Taylor Swift.
Movie: 127 Hours with James Franco
Future: Relient K at Rocketown
Thinking About: Something new.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Busy People

It’s been awhile since I posted a rant. I know you missed them. So - enjoy!

Don’t you dislike it when people tell you how busy they are?

Me - “Hey, how’s it going?”
Them - “Oh, I’m so busy!”

What they’re actually saying is “I’m busy because I’m doing important things”. I guess if they weren’t busy they wouldn’t be important, right? R-i-i-ght!

I invited a friend to lunch. He couldn’t meet me for three weeks because - he’s so busy! Three weeks? Like, you have a lunch booked everyday for three weeks? Maybe you eat too much!

Another friend texted me. “Let’s go for lunch”. Ya man! The next line of his text explains that he’s been very busy and - “I’ll let you know when I'm free,” he says. Swell. Get me excited about lunch then tell me how busy/important you are and make me wait. Nice.

I like those people who truly are - busy. I know they are. But they don’t tell me how busy they are. They don’t rush the conversation - I feel important to them.

Busy people have post-notes dangling off the end of their daytimer. I know a guy who really does that. “Dude - you are not THAT important!” (Actually he is - he just can’t control his schedule.)

When people talk about how busy they are - do you feel sorry for them coz they can’t slow down? Or do you feel like you’re not important enough to be part of their “busy” schedule?

Gotta sign off. I’m busy. Call me in two weeks. No. Make it three. I am SO BUSY!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Toast Is Burnin'

Newsboys - they’re done.

I don’t mean they broke up, although that probably be for the better. I say “they’re done” coz I think they are spinning their career wheels. Ever since Michael Tait joined the band, they’ve become a yawnfest.

The spinning drums - ya ya. It’s still cool. But we’ve seen it a hundred times. Michael Tait is a great singer with a great history - dc Talk, solo, actor. I saw him with Newsboys in Toronto on his first tour as their new lead singer. He was great. Fabulous, passionate preacher.

But their recent songs.... yawn. “Born Again” - yawn. “Way Beyond Myself” - sounds like a dc Talk leftover. Doesn't compare to "I'm Not Ashamed", or "Going Public".

Peter Furler was not just an amazing frontman; his personality defined the band. Guy-liner on a 40 year-old? Sure, it worked! Unpredictable, edgy, yet safe. Newsboys were an Aussie band, transported to Nashville.Now, only one guy is Aussie. As much as I am an advocate for artists and producers in the Music City, in this case Nashville has transformed Newsboys into just another band, which makes them like everybody else. Everybody else is good - but Newsboys were great. Not anymore.

Boys...breakfast is over. The toast is burnt. Let the good memories rest and we’ll pretend this Michael Tait thing never happened.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rocketown - Relient K - December 3



In previous blogs I’ve written about Rocketown - the youth hangout/concert venue/skatepark that is owned by Michael W. Smith. It’s in Nashville.

They recently relocated. This is their third location since 1994.

It’s an amazing venue and ministry. I would love for this ministry to come to Canada. Like Barrie.

Since my son lives in Nashville, not far from Rocketown, we bought tickets to see Relient K on December 3. It’ll be a short visit. This time, it’s more than a concert experience. I want to find out what makes Rocketown tick.

I’ve requested an interview with someone in charge. Pray that I will have that opportunity, and that I will learns lots about their vision. Then, if it is God’s will .... we’ll see what we can do!

Watch for a follow-up blog after December 3.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Old Spaghetti Factory! Mmmm!

Last Thursday was my first ever visit to the famous Toronto Old Spaghetti Factory. I loved it! Today was my second visit - and I ordered the same meal! Lasagna! Mmmm! How come it took me so long to discover this place?

Whenever I eat out, the table-server brings me my food, and holy cow - the chef piles on the food! I think “How am I gonna eat all this? Especially all the fries?!” Canadians (and Americans) eat too much. Way too much. Our society is full of over-eaters and this is the reason why!
Restaurants load up our plates with more food than our stomachs can store! And we don’t want to waste it coz we paid for it, so - we eat it all - like pigs! And then we order a re-fill on the drink. And then it's dessert time!

I read that if we reduced our servings by half, we could keep our weight under control. How about this? What if we ordered ONE meal and split it? We’d save a bunch of money.

So today at the Old Spaghetti Factory we ordered ONE serving of lasagna and ONE salad. (We ordered individual drinks, of course!) It was a perfect lunch. Awesome food! Didn’t feel stuffed.Didn’t feel broke.

Have YOU been to the Old Spaghetti Factory?

What do you think of ordering one meal and splitting it?

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Last Ride!

Sunny. 13 degrees. No wind. Ahhh - this is the day I had given up on. My thoughts of one more bike ride this season had deflated, until today.

Now, I am a fair-weather biker. I don't like cold. I don't like wind. And I sure don't like other people's cycling agendas but I digress.

As inviting as the sun was, shorts were not going to work. So I pulled out my track pants and pulled my right jock sock over the ankle, like a goon, but also a smart goon who doesn't want his pants wound up in the chain.

Bike shoes. Gloves. Toque. Sweat shirt and my bullet proof, weather resistant, nuclear protective jacket. Nothing gets through it. Unfortunately, it takes two days for the sweat to dry out but at least I was warm!

I was planning on much more than a couple of blocks. I haven't ridden in a few weeks and I figured my legs would beg me to turn back. Hmmm - I should have known. Once on the bike, the cadence steady and I ended up in Shanty Bay. Generally Shanty Bay is just a warm-up-ride, but today, it was just enough. Especially with no water bottle! I really could have used that in Shanty Bay!

Even with the toque my ears were chilled and it was great to hop in the hot shower at home!

My biking year concluded today - 2,900km.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

18

We've sold over 550 tickets in advance for Air Raid 18! Only one other Air Raid sold more and that was "17" featuring Group 1 Crew. It sold out in advance.

Man, Air Raids have come a LONG way!

The first three Air Raids happened before LIFE 100.3 was on the air. In fact, the first Air Raid was named "Youth Concert". Nice title. Catchy. Yes, I'm being sarcastic. As I recall, there was crowd surfing going on at the show and a couple of pastors ragged on me for letting the show become too worldly. I see. How come the kid doing the crowd surfing was a pastor's kid? Ahem.

Each Air Raid features a Canadian band - sometimes local to Barrie, or an artist we've discovered playing a church in Ontario.

The opening act at Air Raid 18 is Hearts In Stereo. These guys are from Ottawa and their song "Alive" is playing on LIFE 100.3 all the time. When they play at Air Raid, they'll be opening for Manafest and Superchick. Nice exposure!

Since LIFE went on the air, I've hoped that Newsboys would headline an Air Raid. Will it happen?

See you Saturday at Timothy Christian School.

A I R R A I D 1 8 ! ! !

Monday, November 8, 2010

127 Days

This movie was released last Friday. Dunno when it's in Barrie but I really want to see it.

It's the "true" story of Aron Ralston who is a mountain climber and got his arm stuck in a rock crevice while climbing. He was stuck for four days. Finally he used a pocket knife to cut off his arm and get freed.

I saw the real life Aron on Letterman. It's quite a story of courage and never giving up.

It's no surprise they made a movie. I'm glad James Franco is playing the role - he's an interesting guy, too.

The trailer says the movie is restricted, probably because of the scene with the knife. Apparently two people were carried out of the Toronto Film Festival on a gurney. I may have to buy some popcorn during that scene. Haha!

Well!




Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Though it linger..."

Devos this week. I'm stuck on the verse in Habakkuk -
"Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."
(2:3)

Waiting. That must be our greatest frustration. Wanting something. A event that's in the future. A job. A phone call. A response. Information. God to drop something from the sky. We wait.

Years ago Tom Petty sang "The waiting is the hardest part." Know it?

I understand that waiting is just a fact of life. Why is it that the more I pray for "it to happen" the longer it seems to take? Hmmm.

In Habakkuk he's referring to Babylon being evil and that verse is God speaking to Habakkuk. Maybe I'm taking the verse out of context and inappropriately applying it to myself in the present day. Sometimes it's hard to know which verses were specific to the situation and which ones are universal.

I see problems and so did Habakkuk but God will fix it as He promised. Until He does, the Bible reminds us - to rejoice. And that's hard - when you're waiting!

I'm sure somebody reading this blog today will be blessed by the verse.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hallowe'en

I give up.

Hallowe'en. It's evil. No, it's ok if you don't dress up like Satan. No, it has satanic roots. No, it's ok if the church turns it into a (cheesy) Harvest party. No, it's just fun and candies - and nobody gets hurt.

I'm tired of the debate. I don't know which is right. My pastor friend's of mine approve of it, so if it's pastor approved then it MUST be ok. So, I'm handed out candy, anyway.

Ding dong. Dog barks - alot.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear? Santa Claus at MY door! I must have been a good boy!

"Is that your dog?" Santa asks. I tell Santa, "No it's my cat dressed up like a poodle."

Wow - Celebrating Halloween and Santa at the same time?! I'm gonna get kicked out of church!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

GMA Canada - in Calgary

It's Gospel Music Week in Calgary. I almost didn't come this year. I'm glad I did!

This week is about seminars, worshops, worship and showcases. Oh, and the Covenant Awards.

Today I hung out with the SHINE-FM radio people at the radio track. The sessions were "ok". Beth BaCall from STAR in New York hosted on track that was exceptional. She invited five Calgary Christian radio listeners to sit on a panel while she (Beth) and us in the audience, asked questions - like a focus group. The five listeners told us how they felt about Christian radio, how they spend their time, things they love and how they use social media. (1 in 5 of them tweets; 1 in 5 has an iPhone, 5 of 5 use Facebook, 4 of 5 are involved in their church.)

Radio and artists love to schmooze, me included. It was cool seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

It's been a long day - it feels like a week has passed. I didn't get dinner til 11:30pm. Haha!

Tomorrow, more of the same, concluding with the Covenant Awards - the Christian music awards for Canadians. Unfortunately it is not broadcast on TV.

Calgary is an awesome city. Not as cool as Ottawa, but very close!

I miss the gym and my poodle!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Weather Balloon

Got 7 minutes? This video is amazing!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Calvary With Tim

Yesterday, Sunday. Church day.

Tim Maassarany was speaking at Calvary in Barrie. Me and my wife (Janice) tagged along for support. Thanks to Pastor Lawrence for the invitation and letting us share how God uses this radio station to encourage people.

Now about Pastor Lawrence - what a firecracker! If you go to Calvary, you already know this, but I gotta tell you - he was ON! ON! ON! It was one of those messages that excited me so much about staying on track with the Lord, reminded me about blocking out the negative distractions of media, making holy choices - great stuff. It’s days like that at church that I realize I’ve wandered just a wee bit, lowered my guard and just being there pulls me back and redirects to me to focus more on the Lord.

Do you ever find that if you’re on vacation, or you missed a couple of weeks of church coz you slept in or something - you feel like you're out of step? Like God is far away. And then you go back to church, and everything feels just right.

Anyway, thanks Pastor Lawrence for a great message and a fun morning.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Anberlin

Anberlin plays in Toronto Tuesday. I missed the last two tours. The last couple of albums were too esoteric for me. Stephen Christian is a great writer and deep thinker. I guess I don't go that deep. Hahaha! In an interview the band said that the new CD "Dark Is the Way, Light Is a Place" is less poppy and darker than other albums. What .... less poppy? Swell.

A quick google gave me their setlist from a recent show and there seems to be enough older songs to keep me happy. If it's good, I'll post a review this week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Poodle Is Back!

Just over two weeks ago, my worst fear came true. Callie’s stomach twisted, which they call bloat. Standard poodles are prone to this horrible fate, that, if corrected by surgery within six hours, the pet dies.

Praise God that we have the only 24 hour emergency animal hospital just three minutes from my house.

Praise God that the surgery was a success.

After surgery, Callie was walking with her knees bowed out at the side and had very little control. The emergency vet in Toronto said it could be affected by MG (a disease with a long name), a brain tumour, or a spinal problem - all requiring surgery.

All the tests came up negative. Praise God.

None of the specialists could give an explanation so we took her home, with her wobbly, messed up legs, so she could rest in comfort.

Each day she got better. Now she’s going for walks and jumping up on the bed!

Yesterday the neurologist vet in Toronto called to check on Callie. When we told him that she was jumping up on the bed he said, “Wow, she is one very lucky dog.” The tone in his voice suggested his doubt that she would make it at all. The surgerons in Toronto could not figure out why her legs were bent.

Now I can personally say God answered three prayers, immediately. 1 - Successful surgery for bloat; 2 - no additional surgery; 3) unexplained healing of her legs.

I often wonder why bad things happen, and despite my prayers for healing, people die. One of my Christian friends says that God doesn’t do major miracles anymore. I was getting very discouraged and wondering if God was more of a spectator, watching us humans, and not interferring with miracles.

There is not much closer to my heart than Callie. When I prayed and told God, “I’m giving her back to you”, he gave her a new life.

Praise God.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

12 Angry Men

Saturday, my wife and I went to the St. Jacob’s Drayton Theatre Playhouse to see “12 Angry Men”.

We’re both fans of the movie “12 Angry Men”. The 1957 version starred Henry Fonda. The 1997 version stars Jack Lemmon, but it’s George C. Scott’s character that steals the movie. He’s a loud mouth guy, sweating profusely with veins popping from his neck as he gets angry, and he gets angry a lot.

It’s an interesting movie because the 12 jurors are never referred to by name, just juror number. The defendant and the witnesses are never named either. Throughout the movie the jurors discuss the facts of the case - who saw what and who did what. The unique thing about "12 Angry Men" is that all but four minutes of drama is set in the jury room. Have you ever seen a movie where so much drama takes place in one room?

The Drayton Theatre production is the same. The characters are almost identical, as is the script and the actors who took the Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott roles did them justice.

Great play. Awesome movie!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Don't Like Thursdays

LIFE 100.3 is in a building with tenants who are mostly medical. The building next door, with whom we share the parking lot, is also medical.

Thursday must be “go to the doctor day” because you cannot find a parking space at either building. I circle around and around the building like a hawk looking for a place to park. Everyone is driving around, up and down lanes, around the lots. One lap, second lap - let's make it three.

More people are coming in.

Oh - I see a couple cars coming out! Nope... false alarm. Just drivers who thought they had found a space, but didn't.

Suddenly, I see a space just up ahead. I floor it to grab it before anyone else! In front of me is another guy trying to beat me to the spot. Hopefully this won't be a head-on! We both get there, blue smoke coming off our wheels - and there’s a compact car in the space! It couldn’t be seen earlier. Arrrrrg!

Around again.

I might as well park at the mall and take a shuttle to work.

I should take Thursdays off.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Roseanne

Need a laugh? The first part is a series of still photos, but at :33 the video takes over and - it's funny. Awful. Awfully funny!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving. Remember to give thanks. Even pets give thanks!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Callie is Home

We picked her up at the Toronto Vet Emerg at Noon today and she was full of kisses! Now we’re home.

I think the last five days spent visiting three vet clinics didn’t give her an opportunity to get much sleep. Too much barking, too many blood tests and people disturbing her quiet time. Now, she’s flopped out on the floor next to me, dreaming of squirrels.

Her back legs are still messed up. She can’t walk far. The vet called it "her Groucho Marx Walk" coz she's hunched over and walking with knees pointed out. The vet doesn’t know what’s wrong. He tested for three different ailments and all the results were negative. Now we’re trying the “rest at home” method and hope that works.

Thanks for your prayers.

My dog reigns!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Dog Is An Awesome Dog

It’s been a crazy week of emotion.

After the surgery from bloat (twisted stomach) on Saturday night, I visited Callie at the vet, Sunday afternoon. When I took her for a walk, I immediately noticed that her back legs were all messed up; she was walking bow-legged - and she could only walk about 10 feet then she would fall to the ground, giving up.

The vet said it was probably a spinal problem and she would need surgery, costing about $8,000. Swell.

Our regular vet said he didn’t know what it was, but probably not a spinal issue. He referred us to the neutrologist in Toronto and suggested we get there “as soon as possible.”

Off we went Monday night. We watched the vet staff take Callie to ICU on a gurney. The estimate was $2,400 and they required a deposit up front. The deposit was for the entire amount! (I guess people get the work done, take their pets and leave without paying.)

That night we stayed in Toronto. I prayed hard. I felt it was time to “give her back to God”. Man, was that hard to do. She’s 9 years old. What a great 9 years it's been. Maybe this is it? My wife agreed and we commited her into God’s hands. I didn’t think she’d make it thru the night.

She did. Tuesday morning we visited Callie at the Toronto vet. She had a tube up her noise and a cone around her head. That was alarming. We spend two hours, lying on the floor of ICU talking to her.

Now it’s Wednesday. My poodle is still in ICU in Toronto. The vet has ruled out a spinal problem and the need for surgery. Now he’s testing for other things which would require steroids but no surgery.

I just want my poodle home with me.

Footnote: All the vets and their staff, in Barrie and Toronto - they all love animals. They just enjoy their company and treat them with love and respect. That encourages me.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Dog

A bit of a panic Saturday night.

We were watching a movie at home and my dog started acting weird. Standing up looking at the wall. I let her outside - in and out, a few times.

Well, having seen the movie “Marley and Me”, I knew what was wrong. Her stomach flipped. I knew this would happen one day. Apparently standard poodles are prone to this. Gases build up in the stomach and can’t escape out of either end. It’s a miserable condition that leads to death if the gases aren’t released.

Took her to the emergency vet. Barrie has the only 24-hour emerg in the area. The next closest is Newmarket and I don’t think our dog would have lived that long. She had surgery at midnight and made it through. However, tonight, she is still recouperating.

I visited her today. She was pretty mad at me. She didn’t look at me or acknowledge me, which may be a result of the drugs, but she seemed to notice the nurse and other dogs and passers by.

I’m waiting for an update.

I love my dog.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ride Again

I fear the biking season is nearly over.

Yesterday was great - a short, warm blast of heat. Just enough sun for a t-shirt and a quick ride to Orillia. The 35km ride gives me time to dial down from the daily stress. I can brainstorm ideas, make a list of things for Jen and Steve to do (haha!) and spend time with God. It’s always easy to praise God when I ride through beautiful scenery.

I was hoping to hit 3,000km for the season - looks like I’ll be short of that! I’ll see what I can do before the snow flies!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Radio/TV Tower

Wanna see something nuts?

Here’s a guy who climbed up a radio/TV broadcast tower – not sure how many feet up he is. And he’s doing pull-ups without, a harness!
Watch!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Read The Book

I’m reading a book called “Stuff Christians Like” by Jonathan Acuff. Someone sent it to me anonomously, knowing the sarcastic poke at Christians would make me smirk. Or laugh. Which I did.

There’s a chapter called “Watching R rated movies, but only if they’re violent.” Something the violence in the Bible makes it ok for us to watch. But if there’s even a nipple visible in the movie, then it’s not ok.

Another chapter is about Christians who swear once in a while. When a Christian swears there is more impact because you don’t expect it. The author calls it a scientific fact. (You getting the sarcasm?)

The best chapter is the score card to determine if your worship leader is metrosexual. (A guy who has a strong concern for his appearance, among other things.) The chapter is hilarious!

Example – if the worship leader has a faux hawk hairstyle you score one point. If he has more product in his hair than your wife, score another point. If he has Rob Bell-style black-rimmed glasses, score another point. If he wears designer jeans on stage, score two points and if they are designer ladies jeans, then he gets 4 points. If his wife accompanies him on stage and plays a tambourine, lose 4 points. Ya get it?

After answering the 47 questions, you add it up. Pretty funny. A couple of worship leaders I know exemplify this!

Oh ya - another chapter is called “Let me pray about it”, which gives you a chance to get out of doing something you don’t want to do, until you pray – which is much later.
Acuff uses sarcasm to tell the story, but deep down I know this is really about me (and us) and our own hypocrisy.

I’ve not read a book like this, where we poke fun at ourselves. I think more than half of my friends would not enjoy this book – that’s why I’m telling you!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Bucket List - Updated

You know the bucket list, right? Not the movie. I mean YOUR bucket list. Do you have a list of things you want to do before you kick the bucket? A friend of mine posted her bucket list on her blog. So, if that’s the thing to do, so will I. Fortunately, I can scratch off a bunch of them – which is good, coz, well, because, I have less time to get the jobs done.

OFF THE LIST

Shake hands with a Beatle.
Meet the real Batman.
Record a song and get played on the radio.
Go to Woodstock.
See Dick Clark.
See Chuck Berry.
Work at WAY-FM.
Teach school.
Write a book about radio.
See the Tour de France in Paris.
Work for Moffat Communications.
Ask Alice Cooper about his faith.
See Jim Morrison’s grave.
See Terry Fox’s grave.
Get a tattoo.
Sing with my favourite band.
Manage a touring band.
Join a band as a musician.

STILL ON THE LIST

Shake hands with Mick Jagger.
See Stonehenge.
Go to a taping of American Idol.
Meet Sylvester Stallone.
See Marilyn Monroe’s tomb.
Ride my bike on the A1A or Champs-Elysees.
Tour Alcatraz.
Swim in the quarry near Bloomington (from "Breaking Away")
Buy 1050 CHUM and make it Christian.

** If you can help make any of these things happen for me, thad be grrreat!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

God's Chisel

Have you seen this video?

It's between God and a guy - God chisels away our imperfections. Enjoy!

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Let It Be

Were you at the Orillia Beatles Celebration on the weekend?

Each year the City of Orillia brings in Beatles tribute bands to perform at venues all over town. If you like the Revolver era, there’s a band named Revolver. If you like McCartney, there was The McCartney Years Band at the Opera House.

Last year a cover band played the “Let It Be” album, on the roof of a local business. About 1,000 fans watched from the street, imagining it was 1968 at this was the Abbey Road studio. I was there in Orillia. The band was amazing!*! I felt like I had been time-machined back to that very moment.

Ok, back to this past weekend.

Saturday night the original “Let It Be” movie was shown at Orillia Christian Church. (OCC bought the downtown theatres.)

The theatrical release was May 1970 which was the first time I saw it.

After all these years, maybe I don't remember it well after all. The scenes of Yoko getting in the way, and John and Paul fighting, and George quitting – those scenes weren’t in the movie. I guess I read so much about the Let It Be sessions that I told myself they were in the movie, which they were not.

The best part is the classic live performance on the rooftop of Apple and that’s how the movie closed. If I was reviewing the movie, I'd say the Beatles looked pretty happy together. (Ofcourse the arguing, break-up scenes were edited out.)

Now let's talk quality. It was filmed in 16mm and upgraded to 35mm for the theatre which compromised the imaging. The film I saw in Orillia was pretty poor quality. Very, very grainy and absolutely rotten sound (no bass). My gues is it was copied and copied and copied again. I have home videos that are better quality.

Anyway, since I could not rent a VHS store version, I waited 40 years to see the movie again. Glad I didn’t miss it.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Book Released at Last! Yeah!!

Friday, (September 17) my book “Good to Great – The Christian Radio Version” was published through Lulu.

My first involvement in Christian radio was in 1993 when I initiated a one-hour, once a week show in North Bay on CHUR and MIX 105 in Sudbury. I moved to Nashville to work full-time in Christian radio at WAY-FM in 1996. In 1998 I began working on the CRTC application for a new Christian station in Barrie and we launched LIFE 100.3 in the summer of 1999.

“Good to Great” is not a biography but rather a series of radio stories that I was involved in or heard as a listener - both mainstream and Christian. I also reminisce about the CHUM radio personalities that I heard as a teen and the influence they had on me.

The purpose of the book is pure ministry. I clearly see that my experiences in secular radio helped advance WAY-FM promotionally, and culminated in 1999, with the start-up of LIFE 100.3 in Barrie, where the ultimate purpose is to serve the Lord and His followers through radio.

Because this is ministry, each Program Director who works in Canadian Christian radio will get a complimentary copy next week by mail. If you’re not a PD – no problem. DJs and fans can order either a soft cover version for $15 or get the download for $10 thru http://www.lulu.com/.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Alice

Since 1975 when “Welcome to my Nightmare” came out by Alice Cooper, I’ve been a fan. (“Scott, I thought you were a Christian!” Uh huh.)

About 20 years ago or so, Alice was healed from alcoholism and became a Christian. I wasn’t a Christian so I didn’t know about his experience with the Lord. Then I became a Christian.

Then I found out Alice was a Christian.

How can Alice Cooper of all people call himself a Christian? Well, he says Jesus is his saviour so I guess it’s between him and the Lord.

I think I’ve seen Alice on every tour that came near Toronto – every year. Still do.

He’s recorded one Christian album – “The Last Temptation”. Every album since then has Christian overtones of righteous, not choosing evil – or else.

After watching this video clip, you’ll think of Alice as a Christian. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oim4OWMANZ4&feature=related

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Am I The Only One?

Seems like the longer I’m a Christian the more questions I have. Books and articles say “the more we know God, the more questions we have because there is no end to God.”

I’m ok with that.

So I ask a lot of questions. Questions about a Bible character, or a confusing verse, or how God feels about issues – the topics go on forever.

Recently a couple of people have told me that I ask a lot of questions, as if that is a bad thing.

Today I realized, nobody ever asks me questions. I’m the one doing the asking.

Am I the only one who doesn’t understand things?

I don’t understand how, if Jesus is the centre of everyday life, why nobody questions – anything.

I guess everything is ok with everyone. Everyone is happy where they are. No questions.

One of the best books I’ve read is “Velvet Elvis” by Rob Bell. (I can’t find my copy so I’ll have to give you a bad paraphrase.) The main idea I took away was that “we should be discussing, wrestling for answers and stretching our faith by digging for more”.

That describes me totally. After reading “Velvet Elvis” I felt like I wasn’t so far off base.

Am I hanging out with the wrong people or am I a goon for asking so many questions?

Leave a comment and yell at me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Church

Today I was visiting First Baptist Church in Orillia. This is the new home for worship leader Jody Cross.

Pastor Paul Carter had a great message. He touched on several things.

God is multi-generational. “Abraham, Issac and Jacob” - 3 generations.

Worship is not your hobby.

1859 The Welch Revival. Gotta look this up on wiki!

We don’t need revival. We need reformation, which meanings re-building.


Lots of notes. Great day.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Does This Mean To You?

As long as I’ve gone to concerts, I’ve seen thousands of fans throw their fingers in the air as they rock out to the music. Some people told me it was “the devil sign” and the fingers represent the devil’s horns.

Other people told me it means “yeah… rock and roll, man!”

So – the devil? Or rock and roll? Which is it?

I guess if you’re not a Christian you don’t care. It’s just what you do in “a cool moment”.

What about if you’re a Christian? Do you care if you’re making “the devil sign” or do you think you’re making the “rock and roll, yeah man” sign.

I never really knew what it meant, so as a Christian, I never made the sign. Oddly, I never asked either. Imagine that. Why didn’t I ask?

Someone brought it to my attention this week, telling me that it is the sign of the devil. Instead of taking their word for it I went on a journey to find out the meaning behind the sign. I did a survey, asking my musician friends and other music fans – what does it mean to you?

(Now, this isn’t scientific and I don’t have charts and graphs to support my findings, so – it is what it is. However my “research” is based on answers given by Christians.)

Group 1 makes up the smallest group. They claim it is “the devil sign”. They are certain. There were no musicians in this group.

Group 2 is a wee bit larger. This group has answers that range from defensive to moronic. “It used to be the devil sign but it no longer is”. I asked “Who made that decision?” I was assured, it just is. Like I should know better!

Group 3 makes up the vast majority – maybe 75%. (Remember, I only surveyed Christians.) Even the musicians, who make this sign from the stage, don't know if it's “the rock on sign" or “the devil sign” but they say, it's not a big deal. "It’s ok, coz it’s cool”. Ya, you're cool.

I’m a Christian. I don’t knowingly support something if I don't know what it is, especially if it's questionable. After all these years of not knowing, I took the time to dig up some answers. Hmmm ... it sure seems like “the devil sign” to me - and that’s not something I want to do. Even Group 3 - the majority - admit that it might be "the devil sign" but they're comfortable either way. Even if it's the devil sign.

I guess I’m in Group 1. The smallest group. I must be a legalist.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jesus Is Not On Twitter

The night before I play drums at church I always have bad sleeps. I have anxiety about waking up late, 400 traffic, bad weather between Barrie and Alliston and being ready to practice in Alliston by 7:30am. Well, another bad sleep last night.

I’ve asked myself, often, why I volunteer to play once a month, knowing in advance I’ll have a lousy sleep, and after church (45 minutes each way) I’ll feel wiped out for the rest of the day.

After our first set, Pastor Gary thanked the worship team, mentioning the sacrifice of arriving at 7:30am and playing for two services. Sacrifice? I want to play. I’m not tired when I get to practice; I just don’t want the sleep side effects that go with it. I guess that’s part of sacrificing and serving.

Today, Pastor Gary was preaching about the disciples’ faithfulness and pointing out the consumer mentality (What’s in it for me?) of many 21st Century Christians.

We sang the song “Look What You’ve Done For Me”. The lyrics in the song remind us that our priorities are backwards. “It’s not a question of what you can do for me but what I can do for you, my Lord”. Yet we come before God, telling Him what we want from Him, instead of showing an attitude to follow.

Gary said:

The disciples stuck it out even when they didn’t understand Jesus.
Even after the disciples disagreed, they were still faithful.

Jesus wants disciples who not simply “follow Him” like he’s on Twitter, but follow his commandments. Jesus does not want perfect people, just people after God who are faithful and hungry and in love with their Saviour.”

SONGS
Because Of Your Love (Paul Baloche)
Forever (Chris Tomlin)
Holy Is The Lord (Chris Tomlin)
Look What You’ve Done For Me (Tree 63)

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Moses Worked Too Much

My devotional (365 days) is “Experiencing God Day by Day”. Surprisingly, since I started, I’ve rarely missed a day. (This is a big deal for me.)

Yesterday I was reading about Moses. The story is about Moses settling disputes among the Israelites. I guess everyone was asking him to judge their situations and he was overwhelmed because he was taking on more work than he could handle. His father-in-law saw what was happening and told him to delegate the work to others.

Sometimes, well a lot, I take on more than I can handle. Then I get exhausted.

The devo reminds me that just because I see a need doesn’t mean that God intended me to pick up the slack. I don’t think God wants us to be overwhelmed. Maybe when we feel like that, we’re doing more than God is expecting. Maybe some of the needs we try to do are meant for someone else and we’re blocking the experience.

This story about Moses and his father-in-law – I have not heard. Exodus 18:14

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to lighten my load of stuff to do. Half the stuff I do probably doesn’t matter to anybody but me.

So – why do it?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hooked

My wife has me hooked on two TV shows.

“Million Dollar Password” and “1 vs 100

Password. Since I was a kid I’ve played the home version of Password with my family; usually at Christmas when there’s a bunch of people visiting. We take anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute to think or answer a clue. And we can give ten clues! On the TV version those guys are blasting out clues every second! And they only have three clues per word! Neil Patrick Harris is amazing and Betty White – a password veteran is also very quick.

1 vs 100. I think what I like is the set – the lights, the rows of people that make up the mob. Everything happens fast. Bob Saget is a good enough host, but ever since I heard his rude stand-up comedy, I’ve had something against him. I don’t think it will have the clout to last long, not like Password or Millionaire, but it’s fun.

Deal Or No Deal is also pretty good at coming up with different angles but I think it's nearly out of steam.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Not Biking - Boating!


9am Saturday. My cell phone rattles across the kitchen counter as a text message comes in. “Ah, a friend is inviting me for boat ride….”

We had talked about it, but I didn’t think he’d actually do it because he lives out of town. My friend launched at Leroy and at 11:30am, I was waiting by the dock of Barrie’s Southshore Centre and my ride arrived!

Off we bounced across Kempenfelt Bay, into Lake Simcoe, cruising at 50mph in his Searay Pachanga powered with a 350 Magnum.

In no time we arrived in Orillia at the Narrows, skipped around the bay, to a slip in the marina. I’m not sure whose slip we used, but there were a lot of empty ones.

After lunch in the sun on the restaurant patio it was off to the middle of Lake Couchiching to idle and listen to the unreleased, freshly mastered CD by Hello Kelly. Francois' songwriting is a step more mature and his vocals just keep getting better! The vocals are built to sound BIG. After all, it was recorded in Nashville. Nothing leaves Nashville until it is sonically BIG!

After the sneak music preview, we got in line with the parade of boats to coast thru the Narrows and then give 'er full-tilt bashing through the wake of the Simcoe waves.

Sun, friends, boating, lunch, new music.

A perfect afternoon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Like It But I Don't Read It - Anymore

My email inbox is exploding with great junk.

Over the years I subscribed to newsletters that I thought would enrich me. Daily short devos to start my day, newsflashes from my favourite bands, my favourite ministry sites, my favourite bike sites, personality blogs, specials on cruise ships, haircut coupons, news from Lance Armstrong, broadcasting headlines, newsbreaking headlines, weather bulletins - and so on.

I get about 5 or more a day. And I have no time to read it. Who's got time to read all this stuff? I barely have time to blog.

I bet you're not even reading this - even though it's incredibly interesting.

The world is spinning too fast and technology is to blame.

Do you subscribe and skip reading it?

Monday, August 23, 2010

UCB Visit


Back from Belleville. Man those radio guys at UCB have amazing scenery, in Quinte. Bay Bridge going over to Sandbanks Park. (The bridges throughout the city remind me of Saskatoon.)

Today was More Radio training seminar for my friends at 102.3 UCB Canada in Belleville. I brought along my story book of radio stuff and shared some of the good, the bad and the ugly. And they fed me. My buddy Malcolm Hunt who works for UCB in Chatham was spying via skype and also he could see me, I couldn't see him. (Very unfair situation!)

Always great to connect with radio friends, especially those you only know thru email.

In the photo on the left is James Hunt - Station Manager/President/Captain/Host and another fancy title with some initials, in the middle is Elmo Johnstone (PD) and me.

Thanks for the fun day!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

You Will Never Be Healed

I try not to blog about this but it’s weighing on me, so by sharing, it clears my head (a bit) and maybe you might have a comment.

Depression. This is a mental disease. Huh? I have a mental disease? As a creative person, and someone who likes to conceptualize projects (like LIFE 100.3), having a mental disease makes me feel like the best years are behind me.

I’m tired of taking drugs with side effects. The side effects are sometimes worse than the depression. I told my psychiatrist, my psychologist and my GP that I just want to be healed.

All three told me – “You will never be healed. You may go into remission but depression comes back to 80% of the people.”

Swell.

When I’m having a good day, I can’t even remember the horrible feeling of depression. I actually believe I’m healed because I feel so good – positive, strong, alive and happy.

When I’m having an average day, I don’t really care much about anything – biking, food, love, anything. But I push thru.

When I’m having a depression day (once every three weeks), I honestly feel that I will never be happy again.

Again - YOU WILL NEVER BE HEALED.

I know all of this is common for depressed people. I'm not unique.

Even after finishing a blessed 13-week sabbatical, I feel like I’ve lost my summer. I didn’t feel like being active all summer. I wasted time. Fewer bike rides, fewer visits to see friends, fewer concerts.

I kinda rate my days. Today is an average day (so far), but I’m motivated enough to blog my feelings.

I know God can do anything. With the snap of his finger I could be healed. But I'm not. And those words YOU WILL NEVER BE HEALED make me feel defeated.

Ya.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This Blog Has No Title...just the words and the tune.

Today was a scrambled, mixed up day.

I woke up early and did devotions as usual. Today the devo was Matthew 6 – pretty popular.

Jesus talked about “giving” – so when you give money or stuff to help someone, you do it without wanting to be noticed. He talked about “praying” – not to show off with glamorous prayers, and not to go on and on – just say what’s on your mind, in your own language. Then it quickly moved into worship without eating – as in “fasting”, and not making a big deal about it, like “excuuuuuse me, but I’m fasting today!”.

Lastly, I read about storing up treasures in heaven, not here on earth where they rot. I looked around the room at the souvenirs of cool stuff I've come to love and our new patio.

I said to God, “I don’t live up to any of this.”

Over the next 20 minutes my mind went from alert and energetic to the pits. What made me feel worse was that it happened during my time with God. Aren’t those quiet moments in the Word, in prayer, supposed to lift me up?

I returned to verse 33 – one of my favourites – “Seek first the Kingdom of Righteousness….”. I thought I was doing that but today it didn’t bless me. It didn’t take me to a higher place.

Any speck of holiness quickly melted away. During that dying moment, I thought of a worship song, just randomly - “Jesus, lover of my soul. Jesus I will never let you go”. I kept thinking about it over and over – and fell back to sleep.

Before dinner I went for a short ride to Shanty Bay, stopped for 20 minutes and laid in the grass wearing my iPod and watched the clouds move slowly across the sky.

God gave me a sunny day to enjoy – and my response was – blah.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I Think I'll Write A Book


The mail’s here! Loooook! My book arrived! Oh, did I tell you that during my sabbatical I wrote a book? It’s about the only thing I know – radio. It is not a biography of Scott Jackson – I’m expecting Larry King to invite me on his show as a guest to discuss that. Actually, I’m waiting for the call. (joking)

“Good To Great – The Radio Version” is 121 pages of recycled ideas, gasps from the past and random, ridiculous tales - the stuff that makes me love radio.

Today I received the first actual softcover copy – ready for the final edit.

Through my company More Radio, one copy will be sent to every Christian station in Canada at no charge. You and your boss can fight over it. Or you can buy it yourself through Lulu – whatever that is.

Wanna work in radio? Read this book!
Getting bored of radio? Read this book!
Love radio stories that blur with time? You will LOVE this book!
Radio, ministry, Jesus.

It was either this or a book about a bicycle and I think Lance has that one covered!

Release date: sometime after Labour Day!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Choosing To See

You probably know the story of the tragic death of Steven Curtis Chapman’s daughter.

Steven’s wife, Mary Beth Chapman has written a book called “Choosing To See”. Jen Melanson loaded me her copy. Apparently Mary Beth talks about their emotional recovery to their daughter’s death, the adoption process, and their good friends Geoff Moore and his family.

To me Steven Curtis is not only an anchor of talent for Christian music but after losing a family member, he is living out his faith, speaking openly on Larry King Live - even when it hurts - and that gives me great encouragement, even though my troubles are nothing compared to his tragedy.

Well I can’t comment more because I haven’t read it but I’m excited about it. When I finish, I’ll post a review.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Early Morning

During my sabbatical I changed my routines in a major way.

Getting up earlier. For 35 years I’ve been a night owl. I’m at my most creative between midnight and four, but at 8am, I’m looking like a bag of dirt. That’s where sleeping pills and other aids entered my life.

Now, during the sabbatical, I have made a conscious effort to be in bed between 9:30 and 11pm, almost routinely. And, I’ve been waking up BEFORE my alarm goes off. It’s crazy!

So my mornings, consist of devotions and the gym, or a bike ride.

Daily devotions - never worked at night. TV gets in the way. My mind has melted from the day’s work, Bible Study, movies, etc. God gets squeezed out. For me, it’s working in the morning and I never would have expected that to happen.

The gym. Previously I went at night when the punks have cleared out and the equipment was more accessible, but now with the routine of getting up early, I have more energy. Today, this morning was amazing. Maybe it was my attitude, or a good night’s sleep, or no pizza in the middle of the night. Not sure.

Today on my iPod here’s what kept me moving in the gym:

Morning Air - The Wedding
Dare You To Move - Switchfoot
Before The Morning - Josh Wilson
Everybody’s Broken - Bon Jovi
All Things Are Possible - Hillsong
How He Loves - David Crowder
This Is Me - Demi Lavato and the Jonas Boys


I am amazed, that at this stage in life, when my routines are set and I am supposed to be stuck in my ways, I am getting up early and making great use of the time.

The one thing that suffers is "my creative time". Without the late nights, I don't seem to be "finding the stuff" that I had before. And, I miss that.

You?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Jojo Bye Bye

video

JoJo McKnight, our part-time DJ has spun his last disc, well, played his "last music file"! He's moving on for worship studies at Liberty University in Virginia, following in the footsteps of many friends and our own Jen Melanson.

Here's Jojo on the air during his last show!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The City Is Named "Intercourse"

I'm sorting my photos from my recent visit to Woodstock and Philly.

In PA we traveled through Lancaster, which is a small rural farming area and very much Amish country. Horses and buggies share the road with the tourists.

This is very different country. The grassy hills were rolling, the roads were curvy, the farms and houses didn't look all the same. And there was a peace in the air. It felt different. Like the kinda of place you would go to get away and hide, read a book, walk and smell the air. If it wasn't in the middle of nowhere I'd love to go back for a weekend.

Well between Lancaster there is a small town named, ahem, Intercourse. Believe it or not it, the town changed their name to Intercourse from something else. (I'd hate to think of what they used to be named!)

After a quick photo op, we strolled through a market that was really quaint - real girly stuff, like ceramics, rug hooking, trinkets and 1,000 calorie treats.

After I hurried my wife to 'hurry up and let's go', I noticed a photo op - with a cow. And I couldn't resist to snap this picture.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wear It - Don't Wash It

Us guys, we get in the comfortable groove of wearing a t-shirt and it feels so good that changing it is an act of injustice!

I mean, wear it, wear it to bed, wear it on day 2, repeat on day 3, repeat on day 4, then it's day 5 - ok, maybe, if absolutely necessary, it goes in the wash hamper.

It isn't any one particular t-shirt. For the last week, I've worn this COKE t-shirt. I love it. It's loose and sloppy. Easy to pull off for the shower and slide back on even before I towel off. So what if the water soaks in?

My wife knows NOT to touch "the t-shirt of the week", which by the way is not folded. Are you kidding? When I get dressed for work, "the t-shirt" just lies on the floor, waiting to be worn.

Tell you a secret - shhhh! Sometimes, but not often, I come home from work, put on the t-shirt of the week, wear it all evening, to bed, do that for a week, and then on the last day of the week, I'll wear it to work!

Normally I wouldn't have shared this story because it sounds rather Neanderthal but I was telling my friend and he does the same thing! Right Rob?! Hey, oh no, I don't mean he wears my t-shirts - he has his own!

Hahaha.

Have a great week!