Tuesday, April 24, 2012


It's called "Love and War" written by John and Stasi Eldredge. (John wrote the popular book "Wild At Heart".) When I was first told about this book, I thought - "Meh - it sounds kinda girly". (Guys, you know what I mean.) If I told you that the description on the cover says "find your way to something beautiful in your marriage" you would probably gag like I did, but really it's pretty good, as far as couples books goes. Janice and I read it together.
Actually, she reads it aloud, to me, and after each chapter we talk about it. Often we get off topic, but it still prompts conversation. And we conclude our reading time with prayer for protection of our marriage and God's protection for the marriage of our kids.

I guess one of the many chapters that has really opened my eyes is the attitude of remaining committed.

For example, when I think that my day's activity wasn't very important, I'm reminded that it is to Janice. She cares about what I did. I am entrusted with her hopes and dreams - she shares them with me. We dream and live it, together. We pull each other threw the junk.

Ok, I'm getting girly here, so I'm going to stop.

Guys, it's a good book. But whether you read this one or not, I hope you would find a book to read together. Read, talk, spend time together.

Friday, April 20, 2012

After Their Prime

Rock stars are dying. This is going to be a lousy decade. This week we lost Dick Clark and Levon Helm (drummer with The Band) Robin Gibb is in bad health. Hmmm. A piece of me always gets rattled when that happens. I remember where I was when Elvis died but it wasn't until John Lennon died (I was on the air at the time) that I really felt a sense of loss. A friend of mine who plays guitar wanted me to take a road trip with him to see Les Paul who performed once in a while in New York City. Me, I wanted to see Chuck Berry because of his grandfatherly impact on rock music. We talked about taking a road trip to see these legends while there was still time - "we should go". Then, Les Paul died. My friend missed the opportunity. With little notice I flew to St. Louis to see Chuck Berry, where he performed a 50 minute set, once a month in the basement of a restaurant in his hometown. He was sloppy, he forgot the words and he only signed about 10 autographs before he left for home. Sloppy didn't matter - I saw Chuck Berry. He was 83 when I saw him. The originals - Chuck, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis are all in the winter years of their lives. After that, there's the 60's rock stars - McCartney, Jagger and Richards, Clapton, Townshend. I remember critics poking fun at rock stars using their own songs against them - "hope I did before I get old", "Time is on my side", "when I'm Sixty-four". Se
When I see older rock stars today, after their prime, it's still an honour. They may move slower and the show may have less "spirit", but they are still doing what they love. Now in my 50's "time" becomes more significant. The term "killing time" seems like such a selfish thing to do since I have a limited amount. What do I do with each day? Did today count? And, more importanty, am I still doing what we love? Yes, I am!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Visa - It's Never Where You Want It To Be

I carry two major credit cards and little cash. Credit cards give me security in knowing that if my car breaks down (happened once), or if I'm out of town and I need a hotel (also happened) or I need car gas, I have a credit card.

Three times in the last 6 months, Visa has failed me and embarrassed me.

In Toronto last week I made a purchase of a few hundred dollars. No problem. An hour later in another store I made a similar size purchase but my Visa was declined!

"What? Not again!" I pay off my monthly amounts and my overall limit is far beyond my actual purchases. The clerk calls Visa to find out what's wrong while I stand at the check-out. "Thank you for waiting in line for the next Visa attendant". Uh uh.

My wife calls me from home and says Visa had called the house to verify the purchase in case of fraud. They called the house - I'm in the store! (Yes, Visa has my cell number) How could I verify it from home if I'm in the store?

I pulled out my Mastercard and completed the sale. Praise God for Mastercard.

At home, I called the Visa fraud number and was on hold for 20 minutes. The lousy customer service continues. When the operator was connected he asked about my purchases, blah blah blah.

Visa - "Your card has unusual activity so we suspended it."

Me - "What's the point in have a credit card if you're going to suspended it?"

Visa - "Your spending was unusual". (Like what? Did I buy a giraffe?)

Me - "Well thank God for my MASTERCARD or I would have really been stuck! Because I didn't have Visa, I couldn't buy gas and I couldn't buy dinner - my friend had to pay!"

Mr. Visa assures me he has made a note on my account to not let this happened again.

Man, good thing I wasn't out of province, or at the airport needing a flight, or stuck at the side of the road with CAA.

Mr. Visa confirms my phone numbers. Cell yes, home phone wrong. "How could you have the wrong number on file - you JUST PHONED MY HOUSE!"

Visa - "Is there anything else we can help you with?"

Visa - it's never where you want it to be.

Monday, April 9, 2012

It Makes Me Sick

I'm reflecting on Easter Weekend...specifically thinking about Sunday and the treatment of Jesus.

“The Passion of the Christ” helped me to visualize the violence that Christ went through, being flogged and crucified. Probably the movie in all of its bloodiness is still not close to the real thing.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday. In church someone read to us a report of the flogging and crucifixion from the perspective of a trained doctor. Without getting into too much gore, we were taken through the flogging, the cat tails, how it ripped the flesh, battered the capillaries, broke open the arteries until blood was spurting. And the story continued like that for 20 minutes.

Here is what I’m wondering. How can people be so awful to each other?

The world is so full of violence that we're used to it. But, I just don’t understand it. Even posting these photos from the film makes me sick.

Can I take this one step further?

I don’t understand how people can pay to watch a movie where people are beaten and mutilated and call it "entertainment". I guess each of us draws the line, somewhere. (I'm not referring to "The Passion of the Christ" as entertainment.)

Now, back to Easter. Jesus knew this was going to happen to him. I’m told, that if I was the only person alive, he would have gone through all of that torture just for me because he loves me that much. I cannot fathom the love. Not even close. The whole scene makes me sick.

This Easter I am more grateful than ever for a God that loves me that much. I don't get it - but I am thankful.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


In about a month we'll be standing before the CRTC presenting our application for 88.1 Christian radio in Toronto!

Exciting? Yes. Stressed - ? Oh ya!

I have an Advisory Committee who have helped connect me with influential personalities in Toronto who might add credibility to our application. It's all good.

This week I was presented with several letters of commentary and interventions from other broadcasters against our application. None of the interventions opposed our application directly, but rather made general claims that don't apply. For example, one broadcaster simply said "none of the applicants are offering anything new - just the same old music as everyone else", and then ended with "except us!"

There's no way this broadcaster even read our application because if they had, they would know that we're the only station proposing a Christian format, and right now, there is no FM station in Toronto playing Christian music full time. Hopefully the CRTC will notice that they didn't do their homework.

I chose to not intervene against any of the applicants. It is really the job of the CRTC to evaluate each proposal, not my job. I'm sure they don't need me to tell them which application is better. After all, each applicant thinks their proposal is the best. Haha!

We've done our very best but I recognize there are other strong applications with big money and brains behind them. So I guess now it becomes "a God thing".

The week of May 7 is when we present. I don't expect to have approval until at least the Fall.

Mmmm! Exciting! Stressful!