Monday, March 29, 2010


The facelift is done. We look pretty and smell pretty.

It took nearly four weeks for the carpenters to restore LIFE. New furniture in the lobby, plus a TV slide show of LIFE events. New wallpaper, fresh paint. Looking good.

I promised some photos so here they are! You're welcome to come for a tour anytime.

Thinking About: My Dad
Listening To: Suzanne Ciani and Vangelis for sleeping
Reading: "Still Growing" by Kirk Cameron
Praying About: What's next.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Day After Sharathon

It's Friday. Whew.

Sharathon overrides everything. The regular format. Our daily office work. We have dozens of volunteers. Hospitality. Decorations. We all eat too much, all day. But THIS was the easiest and most enjoyable Sharathon of them all.

God promises to provide for our needs. Why am I always surprised when He does?

Monthly 105%
One-Time 118%
Total # of Pledges 1,723

Amazing! Praise the Lord!

Photo - Me, Steve and AJ

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


A couple of postings back, I shared the names of the pastors who had influence over me. This posting salutes the people - many I know, others I only know of and have never met - but each has a characteristic that has helped me to be the guy I am.

Janice Baird/My wife - Has been by my side since grade 7 and kept me away from many destructive things guys do and forgiven me for the times I failed.

Steve Jones/PD LIFE 100.3 - To me, he exemplifies the character of Jesus in the workplace, especially in a moment of panic or crisis.

Steve Taylor/Newsboys producer. He listened to me talk about LIFE and asked questions and made me feel special while impatient fans waited in line.

Charles West/Ascension band leader. I play drums and he pushed me to a higher performance level than I could have reached by myself.

Ryan Stockert/CJAY radio producer in secular radio. His heart for in-your-face street evangelism leaves me awestruck.

Scott Carpenter - 1050 CHUM DJ in the 70's who, in 10 seconds, inspired me to pursue radio as a career.

Dan Shafer/Former Boss - Kicked my bum several times, forcing me to do what I thought was impossible and thus raising the bar of possibility.

Jim Waters/CKLC First Boss - gave me a hand-written note telling me I "would go far in this business". I still have the note. He believed in me from the start.

Lance Armstrong/Cyclist - He's an example of never giving up. He pedals hard on his bike and encourages me to pedal hard in life.

Bono/Rock Star - He uses his platform as a rock star to influence world leaders to forgive the debt to impoverished countries. He has donated millions of dollars to feed the hungry, cloth the naked and show love - kinda like what Jesus told us to do.

Mick Jagger/Rock Star - His stardom is a mask for a savy businessman who knows that marketing and re-invention is the key to success. Every new Stones tour has something bigger and better that makes headlines and captures media interest.

James MacDonald/Pastor - His daily teachings remind me of the importance of Christian character and that God loves me, despite my stupidity.

John Bevere/Pastor - Through his video series I have learned more about the Creator and that insignificant little me is still the apple of his eye.

Lorne Anderson/Former radio guy and friend - Introduced me to Christian music, thus changing my musical tastes, my career and my outlook on life.

Stan Lee/Creator of Spiderman in 1962. Went bankrupt in 2001. In 2002, when Stan was 82, the Spiderman movie came out, a win-fall for his wallet and showing me that my greatest days are possibly yet to come.

Geoff Moore/Christian Artist - The catalyst for me to hear cool Christian music.

Sylvester Stallone/Actor - In "Rocky 6", he tells his kid, "life hits you hard but you got to get back up and keep moving forward."

Rob Bell/Pastor - His book "Velvet Elvis" taught me that it's ok to question Christianity in order to go deeper into the heart of God and to wrestle out my faith in pursuit of the truth.

Scott Shannon/Radio Renegade - If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be him.

And there's many more but I'm running out of room.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


My daughter has a blog called "10 Things I Hate". It's pretty funny because most of us hate the same things. But when you see it in print, it sounds funnier.

So, once again, as a tribute to my daughter, here's something else I hate. Actually, there's two things coz I'm feeling cranky.

My wife stands in front of the TV when I'm trying to use the remote. The remote won't work coz her body is in the way. I think she does it on purpose. I lean way over to the right and hold the remote at arms length and then to my left. She's still blocking the receiver. I wait for her to move. What the heck is she doing just standing there, fiddling with something? It makes me crazy. I don't stand between her and the stove! Why does she stand between me and the TV. It's not right.

Know what else I hate? (#3) When my wife throws dog toys directly across my view of the TV screen. It is so bloody distracting. The dog is barking and scampering on the carpet, trying to catch the toy in her mouth - which she never does. Then she picks up the toy, takes it back to my wife, who once again, throws the toy across my view of the TV.

My wife and the dog need to get their own room so I can have some peace and watch my favourite TV shows without people or flying objects getting in the way.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Ken Watson - Pineridge Family Church - Pembroke
Ken was my first pastor. I ended up in church because my daughter got persuaded to join the Awana program. We discovered that church wasn't about old people, blueberry pies or organ music. In fact, some of the people were our age and pretty cool. We continued going. Pastor Ken and his wife led Janice and me to the Lord. We hooked up with a Bible Study that, to this day, Janice and I cherish, and unfairly, we compare all past Bible Studies to the strength we found together in Pembroke.

Cam Howie - Lakeshore Missionary Alliance Church - North Bay
Sunday morning was traditional but Saturday was "rockin". This was during the Vineyard song- movement and it was great. I learned how to worship with my hands. My wife and I were indirectly mentored to be "strong parents" by the Wilson Family, and their in-direct example helped Janice and me to raise two amazing kids to love the Lord. Cam died suddenly in a boating accident, trapped below the deck with one of his sons. Very sad. Regardless, because of Saturday night, this has always been my favourite church.

Ian and Ros McLean - North Bay Vineyard (now Wellspring) - North Bay
This is our supplemental church. While Lakeshore was great, we cautiously tried Vineyard on Sunday afternoons, based out of the McLean's home. I discovered gifts of the spirit and a depth about the Lord that wasn't revealed to me anywhere else. Ian, as a criminal lawyer had insight into the Word and his wife Ros could look me in the eye and through a "word of knowledge, she could tell me all about myself. During these Vineyard years, so pretty radically strange stuff went on in North Bay, the daughter church of TACF. But there was always something there luring us back. Therefore we attend two churches while living in North Bay, Lakeshore being the home church.

Garry Blinch - Sudbury Alliance Church - Sudbury
I don't know what I got from this church. It was boring. The songs were weak. But Garry and Anne his wife and daughter and son, became best friends with us. Garry took a chance and trusted us, a family in his congregation, something pastors never do. We feel we attended this church, simply to be a support for the Blinches.

Jerry Bryant - Nashville Vineyard - Nashville, TN
It was the first church I looked for the day I arrived in town. I loved the whole Vineyard movement - the history, the music; the non judgmental people, the non-celebrity worship (which is hard to avoid in Nashvegas). The musicians on the worship team were Nashville-pros and I've not heard a worship team that good, since. We didn't make good friends thru the church but Jerry said many things to inspire me. The most important, and I'll quote word for word, "I don't trust a man who isn't limping because it means he hasn't wrestled with God".

John Howard - Bethel Community Church - Barrie
Our first home church in Barrie. The total opposite to Nashville and North Bay. The music was very traditional and southern gospel. But John was/is a caring man and it was a good place to be.

Kevin Bushey - Calvary Community Church - Barrie
Ironically, this "community church" is across the concession line of Barrie, where no one ever travels. Only hay fields surround it. Why it was planted I'll never know. But, recommended by a friend, we found a boppin' worship team, with a crowd that actually bounced, and a powerfully gifted youth pastor named Vaden Hiller, who pieced my heart with his go-for-the-throat sermons. Believe it or not, on Christmas Eve, he skipped the usual "Three Wise Men" story and told us "who's going to Hell!", based on Romans. Wild! "Calvary rocks Barrie" Kevin used to say. I soon discovered what a "church split" was and hung thru it until I could not hold anymore.

Wayne Lucas - Alliston Pentecostal Church - Alliston
It's a 40-minute drive each way. It's horrible in the winter. We sing six songs and we sing them twice through, then again at half speed. It's moderately contemporary and the rotation of song choices is frequent. Aside from the music, I discovered Wayne through on location appearances with LIFE 100.3. Wayne is a leader, a mentor and someone who loves to "pour into you". Wayne's messages remind me that "holiness is attainable". He makes me feel like "I can do it! I can do this ‘Jesus-thing'" Not only does the church love LIFE 100.3 but the people make me feel loved. People love laying hands on the hurting. The youth group love Jesus and they are stuck together with super-glue! Ah, if only I could reduce the drive-time.

Thanks to all these amazing men of God who have poured wisdom, interpretation, enlightenment and freedom into me. During different stages of my life, each man showed me another side of Christ and I feel richer for it.

My Worst Church Experience

One pastor very strongly rebuked me for leaving the church and moving to another. "You bloom where you're planted!" he told me quite sternly. I've thought about this many times. I've decided that the bloom sometimes withers and dies when it's not watered.

I am a Christian who considers the expression "oh, it was for a season" as a Christian phrase that allows us an excuse to stop doing something or believing. "God doesn't do that any more -it was for a season". I try to use the word sparingly because of my distain for the misuse of the word.

Sometimes it isn't the church member who withers and leaves for better soil, but the pastor who doesn't know when his season is up.

Sorry for the long Blog. I'm actually thinking of writing a book. Would you buy it? Next time "Those Who Poured Into Me #2". Stay tuned.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Despite major depression bopping in and out, it's been a fairly productive week. But, I don't feel it? Like, the week's been a waste. Looking back, I think lots was accomplished.

I got in three short bike rides. Hey, a day with a bike ride is better than a day without!

I bought tickets to see Chuck Berry. He's a guitar legend from the 50's and I want to see him before I don't have the chance.

I saw Dashboard Confessional in concert last night in Toronto. Dashboard, dashboard. Christians tell me all the time about this amazing guy who "left Christian music". So, my daughter and I went to the show and it was great. The audience knew all the words to all the songs - I mean - every song! Like a built-in choir!

My fitness coach gave me two thumbs up. Yeah.

Got my car out of winter storage.

It's been a good week. That's what I keep telling myself.

Listening To: Dashboard Confessional
Reading: "Grace Is Enough" by Willie Aames. Unfortunately the biography ends in 2007 and the recent info I've found is not good.
Thinking About: Sharathon next week
Praying About: Who's pouring into me, spiritually.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I love American Idol! It’s a bit like a musical soap opera - the longer you follow the show, the more you get to know the characters, their real life stories, their hurts and their joys.

This year does not showcase the best roster of singers but, as Randy Jackson would say, "it’s dope, dawg! I love it!" It’s a bit like a musical soap opera - the longer you follow the show, the more you get to know the characters, their real life stories, their hurts and their joys.

Tonight was "Rolling Stones night." Not a good night if you’re a Rolling Stones fan, like me. The early Stones songs, I’ll admit, are a bit plain, but after 1966, they got an edge and Mick Jagger’s personality pushed through every word, even though we couldn’t understand what the heck he was singing!

Tonight on Idol, everyone was a letdown - except Siobhan Magnus who did justice to "Paint It Black". There was drama, an edge and her traditional scream that knocked out everyone!

To be fair to the contestants, taking on any Rolling Stones song, is as challenging as trying to cover U2 or John Lennon. The originals are so distinct and such a woven fabric in music history that it’s hard to forget the original and enjoy a new version. On the other hand, last year, the most cliche and overplayed Rolling Stones song of all time - "Satisfaction" - was sung better than the original - by Adam Lambert. Yup.


Sunday, March 14, 2010


Today, I spoke at Elmvale Community Church where Pastor Shane Pickel hangs out.

Two years ago I spoke at ECC and not knowing the Pastor, I wore a nice suit. Well, Shane led worship wearing a pair of ragged kakhis, a faded t-shirt and a sleeve of tattoos. I was a bit over- dressed. Everyone got a good laugh at my expense.

Today, I decided to go prepared. I wore a blazer and tie. Reflected on my last experience and stripped down to a LIFE cut-off t-shirt revealing my two tattoos. Shane enjoyed the performance! I'm not sure this would fly at APC.

Had a great morning with everyone!

Thinking About: Dashboard Confessional concert this Thursday. Going with Crystal. Don't know much about DC - just want to see what all the buzz is about.

Listening to: various songs by DC. Old and new.

Reading: "Grace Is Enough" by Willie Aames. He and his wife came to Christ about 20 years ago, after his stardom on "8 Is Enough" and "Charles In Charge". I'm just getting into it.

Praying: "The SJ Fix - A 5 step program to re-igniting Jesus in my life". Well, that's my version. The journey continues. (If I'm successful I'll release it in hardback and you can make me rich.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010


There's a blog floating around named "You Know What I Hate?". It's pretty funny and all of the things listed are things that most of us hate.

So to stay on that theme, you know what I hate? People who blog about going to the gym, like they've become this "super-gym-rat". And, like I'm thinking - YOU go to the gym? Uh huh. Ok. Do you sweat, push yourself and go for it?

Naw. You sit on the bench, gock at yourself in the mirror, confidently convince yourself that you look just like the ripped guy 19 year-old, 150-pound tattooed punk beside you - then you went home.

Ya sure, man. "You went to the gym."

Speaking of the gym - you know what else I hate about the gym? I hate it when girls do sit-ups on the floor mats. Why? Because they do two sets of 10 reps, then they wipe down the mat feverishly with an anti-bateria, super-odour, multi-sanitizer sweat-killing wipe, to remove any hint of workout evidence. Like 20 reps would work up a sweat. But hey - "they were at the gym!"

That's what I hate. Thanks for the idea.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Canadian Music Week 2010, in Toronto at the Royal York Hotel. A building so old I really doubt they have air conditioning. LIFE was represented by (left to right) Junky Rhodes, Shauna Jones (Steve's wife) me, Steve and my wife Janice Baird.

CMW is a week of overpriced conferences, music showcases by indie performers (whom I've never heard of), and a lot of guys who have been in radio for 30 or 40 years, many of whom spilt beer on me. But the rendezvous is something we all look forward to! Fun to see old friends, from my secular radio days, hear about their current jobs and share old stories that blur reality with fiction - ya it's fun.

One of the first people I ran into, was the person I really wanted to see - Don Shafer. He has a phenomenal resume and I had a chance to work with him for about two years. He was tough. He was insensitive. He pushed me beyond my own talent limitations and taught me to guard the (radio) gate against attacks from competitors. Shafer works in Kelowna as General Manager for SUN-FM and a cluster of other stations. I'm not sure what he thinks of me doing Christian radio. I don't know if he's proud of "his student" or I'm just a forgettable guy with a Bible. But Shafer was one of two significant radio influences.

The funny thing is this - everyone at CMW looks about my age, or older. I said to Steve Jones, "where are all the young guys" - the new Programmers. It looks like my generation is still ruling. Shouldn't younger guys be here?

Revisiting mainstream radio, just for a night, brings back memories. It inspires me. Hopefully I've brought some ideas from CMW to LIFE 100.3. The highlight, and real reason for the trip was the honourary salute to CHUM-FM's Roger Ashby whom I grew up listening to on 1050 CHUM. His speech was worth it. And Gary Slaight, former owner of Standard Broadcasting is a fellow whom I never worked for but, well he's well known in the industry and Tom Cochrane roasted him and welcomed him to the stage. He was awarded the Humanitarian Spirit Award for his many charitable donations.

The funny thing about secular radio people - the names don't change; only the companies they work for. "So, who do you work for this year?!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So, you're expecting a review of the new Christian movie "To Save A Life"? Me too. Well, it's already gone. That was a short run! I guess I'll have to wait for the video.

Last Sunday the LIFE Street Team took me to Newmarket with me as the guest speaker at Church of The Nazarene. Pastor Keith was away on vacation so I gave the message and brought along the "all-new LIFE on-location" video to inform the congregation of our progressing ministry.

This Sunday Im speaking at Elmvale Community Church - and boy is Pastor Shane Pickel in for a surprise! Haha! Shane, do you remember my last visit?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Coming up, is Canadian Music Week. It's a big honkin' conference in Toronto that runs most of the week. Most mainstream radio managers and high paid DJs attend to schmooze with old friends and tell old stories which seem a little more blurry every time they tell them. At night, many of the attendees head over to the nightclubs to see new Canadian unsigned artists in concert. There's also a gallery of exhibits that shows off new technology and seminars put on by well-known radio owners and managers. There's also a lot of beer. (No thanks.)

It's an expensive conference so I'm selecting the day that is most appropriate for me. I'll go to the dinner gala Thursday night - it honours some of the radio veterans I listened to as a youth.

Here's the thing about events like this. CMW offers nothing for Christian radio. Everyone goes from rock radio, country, news and sports and top 40 attend but no one working in Christian radio is there. In fact, Christian radio is pretty much off the radar screen.

Is that good? No.

We/Christians like to talk about how we are impacting the world with the gospel and CMW doesn't know we exist.

I think we need to go to mainstream events like this and take away some of their great ideas, then utilize them in our Christian radio stations.

So every once in a while, I jump back in the mainstream, nose around, schmooze with my counterparts and see what I can learn from them.

We'll see.

Friday, March 5, 2010


Hey, I missed a few days! Been busy.

Status - LIFE 100.3 renovations, paint, wallpaper, lobby changes, going to "To Save A Life" tonight. I've been waiting all week!

In My iPod:
The Almost - Hands
Dominic Ball -All We Need Is Love
The Fold - Neverender
Inhale Exhale - Condemned
Nick Jonas - Rose Garden

Reading: Ephesians 5

Praying About: Ephesians 5, a retreat.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


I'm looking forward to the movie "To Save A Life" - it's a Christian movie, released through mainstream movie companies. But, from what I hear, the theme is overtly Christian, much like Fireproof.

I recognize any stars and it was made on one million dollar budget.

Going to see the show Saturday at Colossus - I doubt it's big enough to come to Barrie.

Here's the trailer.