Thursday, July 28, 2011


I’ve been journaling the details of my spiritual walk with Jesus since 1995. Ya, I know it’s a girly thing to do, but I don’t care.

My journal is a collection of entries. Most entries are written in four parts, starting with - 1) Stuff I’m thinking about; 2) The song I’ve been listening to recently; 3) The book and/or devotional I’m reading, and 4) Prayer requests with a scripture verse that I’ve just read. I usually write the verse in red so it pops out.

Other entries sometimes include short notes from church, or statement I heard on the radio (usually from Walk in the Word), or from a friend, or a photocopy of a paragraph I read in a magazine or something.

All of it is a snapshot of where my mind is at on that day.

Not everything in my journal is spiritual because not everything I think or do is spiritual. Buying the new house or seeing a movie isn’t spiritual but if it was an important part of my day, I’ll make note of the activity and how I felt about it. Sometimes the activity leads me to my spiritual side.

Two great things come from journaling.

Firstly, I can look back and see where I came from. The depressing, desperate and angry entries sound like they were written by someone else. I don't hold back and sometimes my language is unChrist-like. Haha! But the positive, praising, loving entries remind me that there will always be another good day, and even when I’m feeling lost and crappy, the sun will come out.

Secondly, there is something about journaling that frees me. I guess I’m facing fears and encouraging myself when I put it in writing.

The journal becomes “a greatest hits reflection” of my spiritual life - the highs and lows.

What I've learned most about myself is that I will always have crappy days. I see the repetition of an angry attitude, impure thoughts, and the lousy routine of sin-confess-sin-confess and how stupid I feel because of it. But the Psalmist had the same thoughts as me, and the Psalmist wrote down his thoughts and prayers just like me! We are the same - just people, making notes, talking to God and trying to figure it all out.

Journaling is pretty cool. You should do it and see if it accelerates your Walk.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We Gave You a Show, Now Give Us Our Money

Tonight, KISS played at Casino Rama. This is one classic rock band I have not been able to shake since discovering Christian music. Maybe I have fond memories because it's "the music of my youth". Maybe it's the amazing circus-like light show, the pyro, the rising platforms, the fireworks shooting out of Tommy Thayer's guitar, or the confetti finale - ya, it's probably all that!

Before the show, two guys dressed like Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley stopped for photos with fans.

The costumes were great. And they never fell off their 7-inch leather heels once! The light show was as amazing as ever. The fans were wild, well ok - "moderately wild". The average age was 50. And the house was packed. 5,000 and everyone but me and my wife were wearing KISS tshirts at $40 a pop. (I would have worn mine but my wife shrunk it and threw it out in 1983.

Paul Stanley's voice - uh, not great. A bit pitchy! His chatter between the songs - super cheezy. I dunno - it worked in 1985 just fine. Oh wait - hold on. It was 1975! Right!

Paul dissed the crowd by telling us how quiet we were. "You guys are sitting down like you're watching TV! Stand up - it's a rock show!" So we stood up - and halfway thru the next song, everyone in our section was sitting down again. Maybe it IS an age thing.

The cheesy "which side of the venue can yell louder" is so 70's. I've always hated it, and bands still do it. I guess their imagination is limited and they know it will get a noise.

"Beth" sung by Eric Carr, uh, not good.

A minute of "Won't Get Fooled Again" in the end of "Rock and Roll All Nite" - not good.

Paul Stanley improving the only Canadian song he knew, which happens to be called "American Woman" - - real bad. He didn't know the words and he made a mess of a Canadian classic. Sometimes Paul was just awful.

It's ok to get older and not have the same beefy voice you did in your 20's. It's ok to run the same schtik if that's what the fans want. I'm a die-hard fan but I felt like Gene and Paul were saying - "ok we gave you a big fat show, now "give us our money".

If you have never seen KISS, you need to see them. See what a big pyro show is all about. You probably won't get the same value at a Christian show.

Comparatively, the all-Canadian band Trooper - no big lights, no effects, none. Just great songs, sung by a guy who is the same age but easily hits every note. (I mean it, Ra!)

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I love Ottawa. I love it, love it. It's a city that I always wished I could have worked in, in radio, of course. What bugs me is that I had three changes to go on-air there and I never pursued them. I remember the first time I was there, visiting a friend in radio, (1440 CFGO), seeing Super-Ex, the joggers on the path around the Rideau, the Byward Market, the Canal - it's a beautiful city.

Do I regret not pursuing one of those jobs? Ya. I will never know what might have been. Not that that my radio life has not been good, and perhaps had I moved to Ottawa it would not have gone as well as my imagination leads me to believe.

That's ok. Ottawa is only five hours away. I visit once a year and spend a few days listening to radio, riding the bike path, walking thru the market and relaxing.

This summer's visit was based around a friend's wedding and piggybacked with the usual bike rides, only this time Janice came with me.

My favourite ride is the loop from Hog's Back, along the Canal to the Rideau Centre and back. It's about 20km - I do it several times. Today Janice and I rode from the Parliament Buildings to Britannia Park, along the River. Great view, great weather!
Pinning down the best thing about Ottawa is impossible, but I will say this: the City of Ottawa takes care of it's sites. The grass is always green. In Barrie - blah! Along Kempenfelt Bay, it's all dry brown grass all summer. What doesn't the City of Barrie water the grass? It's not like there isn't any water nearby! Well, I still love living in Barrie - but it sure ain't Ottawa!

Just reflecting .... one time we had backstage passes to hangout with Rod Stewart. The record company rep took a group of us, including contest winner, to the green room before the show. Rod came into the room from the far side, where the buffet was. The 50 of us all quietly whispered - wow - there he is!" And my wife says, unfortunately a little too loudly, "oooh - he looks so old!" GASP! The record rep came over to tell us the meet-and-greet had been cancelled! Yikes!

Anyway...I have alot of Ottawa rock star stories.

Friday night we ended up at Parliament Hill just in time to see "Mosaika" - a sound and light show, projected across the front of the Parliament Buildings. It's a 30 minute imaginative story-telling spectacle of Canada's history and famous people. The free show happens every night all summer, after sunset. Bring a blanket, sit on the grass and enjoy. It's worth the drive to Ottawa, even if you don't bike on the Rideau! I'm telling you - go see it! AMAZING!

Ottawa - I love you!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Who Is Jesus?

Enjoy this video as everyday people tell us who Jesus is to them.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Worship Weekend With Friends

A crazy, busy weekend. It started with the birth of Kyler Jace Martin - my daughter's and AJ the Wonderdog's first son! I guess that makes me a grand-dad. Really? Is that how it works? Kyler on right - one hour old.

Then it was the "Heart Of Worship" concert presented by LIFE 100.3 - two days with bands - Sean Dayton, Dan Bremnes, Chris Bray and Dan Macaulay. Two shows - Huntsville Saturday and Barrie on Sunday. We had great crowds and enjoyed amazing songs by gifted songwriters and performers.

Pastor Lawrence Crews at Calvary in Barrie hosted the Dan Bremnes Band Sunday morning.

I know Chris, Sean, Dan and the other Dan are reading this blog and if I don't post all the great photos I'll leave someone out. So I will share one big highlight of the last three days. Meeting Tour de France cyclist Tyler Farrar! Wha-a-at? He's in the band?
Haha! Not really, but Devon Leyenhorst sure looks like Tyler Farrar to me! I called him "Tyler" for a day until I saw his fist clenched and then I figured the joke was getting old.

The real Tyler Farrar (pro-rider) on left; Lookalike Devon Leyenhorst (band drummer) on right;

In Huntsville, Dan, Chris and Sean met the Dan Bremnes Band who acted as the house band to back them up. The band learned the songs over the Internet in Vancouver so the Huntsville rehearsal was the first time they had played together, ever. Wow! These guys are so talented!

Two days of music, many miles, much food, late nights, an exquiste after-party with Alicia, rubber boots and milk, the beach, shirts too tight, double-stroke rolls, merch, merch and more merch, an extra bedroom, roast beef, iPhones, iPhones and more iPhones! Did I leave anything out?

Right - me and Chris Bray.

I'm tired. But it's all so good! Bless you guys! Be good!

"Everyday I love my Jesus, more and more and more each day!"

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Tired. I Can't Find The Prize

Devotions. I'm reading a book called "Live Loved" by Max Lucado. It's like a "Daily Bread" devo - short, two pages, scripture, prayer and thought. It's relevant and I often dig beyond the actual devo.

Today was a God moment. Before I cracked it open, I started journaling my thoughts. "It's so hard to be a Christian", I wrote. Hmmm. I've been a Christian for almost 25 years - shouldn't it be easier, not harder?

Maybe because I know more about God, the bar keeps going up. Or maybe I'm just tired of trying. Not trying to be a Christian - I am a Christian. I'm tired of fighting off the junk, only to have another moment of junk jump in front of me, day after day.

Then I read the devo, which talked about giving up, life is hard, the prize is too far away, I can't make it, etc.

Sometimes it seems as if we have more struggles than strength and are temped to quit.

When that happens, and the pity party is done, I gotta try again. Give grace one more time. Be generous one more time. Encourage one more soul.

Philippians 3:13 - I press toward the goal for the prize of the call of God.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jim Morrison's Grave

Today/Sunday July 3 is the 40th anniversary of the death of Jim Morrison. He died in Paris; a drug overdose at age 27.

I am a bit of a Doors fan. I don't know all their songs but I find the life of Jim Morrison, during the years as the lead singer of the band, to be more than interesting. I suppose after a celebrity passes away, the facts of their lives are exaggerated, and their iconic legend becomes bigger than ever.

Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean. Their fame is greater now than when they were alive.

Tonight, I read a posting on a website thread about Morrison. The writer said:

Been to his grave site in the Pere Lachaise twice. Once in 1985 and the next year... Both visits were rather memorable... In 85, I sipped wine and ate cucumber sandwiches with some kid's from Britain... So may people from all over the world... One guy playing and singing Door's songs...The next year what I had written on a tomb was gone...the whole area around his site is constantly white washed to remove graffiti.
When I read this I thought, that is just creepy. This guy who posted was sipping wine at the feet of a corpse that was dead for 20 years! He didn't even know Morrison and he's embraced the memory like - well like, a family member! That's sick.

Well, I confess, I too, am fascinated with Jim Morrison. Can I blame it on Steve Taylor and his song "Jim Morrison's Grave"? Like the guy who posted, I've been to Morrison's gravesite in Paris. It was five years ago - and I wasn't alone! And, I traveled four hours to Cleveland in the winter to see a Doors exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was cool being surrounded by their by stage gear, flashing back to 1969 with the concert videos playing on the walls, and seeing Morrison's personal effects - it made this rock star, more real, even in death.

Maybe it's because I was too young in 1969 to know who the Doors were and an exhibit and a gravesite are as close as I can get. "Light My Fire" will probably still be relevant 10 or 20 years from now.

I started this post to criticize the creepy guy who sips wine at a gravesite of a dead guy. And then I realized, I'm no different.