Friday, December 25, 2015


This blog is for my non-Christian friends who are agnostic or atheist, I thought I would share my reasons for believing in God and calling myself a Christian.

I became a Christian when I was 31 - it was a choice. I'm not a Christian because I went to church or believed a little in God or because I live in a Christian country.

Here's why I became and Christian.


I did not grow up a Christian. I always believe in God but I never thought much about him, other than when my parents said grace before dinner.

Once in a while I thought about God, like because the sun rose every day and it's not humanly made. Something made it. Must be God.

Just like when I cut my finger and a scab grows and then it heals with no marks. And when I drop something, it always falls to the ground, not sideways or up and down. No one can explain why these things do what they do, but we trust and hope that the sun will rise tomorrow like it's supposed to and that a scab will grow and that stuff keeps falling down, not up. We just trust.

I didn't get married in a church. I didn't think had anything to do with marrage. I could do it without him. And I did, at the Holiday Inn in Toronto.

Through my 20's I was happy. I wasn't hooked on drugs, I barely drank, my marriage was good. I owned a house, had a dog, wife and daughter.  My career was going good. I had a small celebrity status at CKLC in Kingston. Life was good. God was not in it.


After a couple of radio moves I ended up in Pembroke and I was working in secular radio. Still, everything was good.

Our seven year old daughter Crystal found something to do on a Wednesday night with a friend - they went to a kids program in a church. She was on a team and one of the ways her team could score points was to memorize Bible verses, which she was very good at. And if she brought a friend to church.

Crystal saw Janice and I as two points so she took us to church!

It wasn't creepy or boring. At church we found friends our age,and there was something different about them and we found out it was because they were Christians and there was a lifestyle change.  They were kind, didn't swear, always encouraging, and went out of their way to be nice.  We liked that, and wanted to be the same.


I didn't decide to be a Christian as a last resort, because as I said, everything was good. I had control over most aspects of my life. But still, my new friends were talking about God like he was a friend. I mean, they really knew what they believed.

We were asked if we believed in a historical guy named Jesus. They said, 2,000 years ago he taught about God to anyone who wanted to listen. Then, when he was the age of 33, a group of angry people didn't like what he stood for and the politicians felt threatened by him so they killed him on a cross. (Sounds familiar, doesn't it?!)  Then, after three days of being stone cold dead, he rose.

But he came back to life after three days?  Come on!

I already believed that the sunrise and finger scab were creations by God, so why not?  There were 500 people who saw Jesus face to face after he was dead, so it's a historical fact. So ok - I'll believe that.

It was a step of faith. I can't prove the Jesus deal.

Then I was told two basic Christian benefits:
  1. I will have the Holy Spirit of Jesus in me, all the time, giving me guidance, now, in this life. It is a logic that I won't find on my own.
  2. When I die, I will go to heaven.
I thought everyone went to heaven unless they were really bad people like a murderer. But who decides who is so bad they don't go to heaven?  Really, even murderers do good things, so where's the line?

I was told that God draws the line. Heaven is his house. He decides who gets in. We don't get in because we think we're nice people. We have to believe it.

So, I said, "I believe in God. What's the Jesus thing?"

When Jesus died, he took all of the badness with him. And if I believed that my badness was taken by him too, he would forgive all my junk, and when I die, I would go to heaven with him.

I chose to believe it.

My pastor asked me if I wanted to be a Christian. I said 'ya'. So did Janice. I didn't know what to pray so my pastor prayed and asked me to repeat it. It went something like this.

"God, I want you in my life. I'm sorry for all the bad stuff I've done. Thank you for loving me so much that you died for me. I accept your forgiveness. Help me be like you." That was it. That's what I said to be a Christian.


Even after I was a Christian I didn't want to hear about God in music. Mostly I loved the Rolling Stones and Christian music was probably all junk. Two years later, I listened to a Christian song by Geoff Moore. It was pretty good.

One day I was in the car with my Rolling Stones cassette and my new (Christian) Geoff Moore cassette. Was I crazy? I chose the Geoff Moore album over the Stones and I remember thinking, "God what are you doing to me?" (Holy Spirit guiding me.)

I was hooked. The music was equally professional but the words to the songs were encouraging me in my faith. They reminded me that God is real. Since being a Christian was more than a religion but was changing my life, I fell in love with Christian music.

Other stuff changed. My movie choices, my choice of friends, how I treated my wife, how I worked for my boss. I just decided that if I put God's choices before mine, he was would be happy. And because of that, I was happier!


Being a Christian affects everything I see and do.  What movies I watch, who I hang out with, how I feel about homosexuality and abortion and weed and many other topics that have become controversial.

I'll confess, I don't believe everything my pastor says or everything my friends believe. And that is why there are different denominations like Baptist and Pentecostal. But we all believe that Christ died and rose after three days and we're forgiven. It's secondary topics where there are differences.

Today, I think that as a Christian, this is as close to Hell as I'm ever going to get. If I wasn't a Christian, this would be as close to Heaven as I would get.

So, my non-Christian friends. That's my story. Christianity is not a religion I've made up or I follow because it makes sense. It's a step of faith.

When I get depressed and feel like "this Christian stuff is just one big coincidence, I think of two important things. I think about the miraculous sun rise. And I think about Geoff Moore - he's a smart guy. If this Christian stuff was all made up fantasies, Geoff would have given up his faith and so would Billy Graham.

You make your decision.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Happy Birthday Steve Taylor - December 9

When I was living in Nashville, I ran into Steve Taylor, backstage at the Newsboys show.  (Hey, it's Nashville - stuff like that happens all the time.)
We made a plan to have breakfast the following week. Steve's favourite restaurant is The Pancake Pantry - it was him and me, just the two of us for about 90 minutes. We talked about music, God, family, everything.
Because of his deep, thoughtful, intense and witty lyrics, I thought he must have known something about God, that I didn't and I wanted to know his secret.
I asked him about his Bible study with friends - "Do you do anything every week? Meet with people?"  He said, no.
I asked - "What do you read in your personal quiet time - a devotional of some kind?"  He said, no.
I mentioned one particular song of his that meant a lot to me - "The Finish Line" and he said, "Hmmm...ya. I think I got it right on that one".  That was cool. Most artists would say, "You know, if I could do it again, I would have changed a line, or a guitar part."  But, Steve was pleased with that one song. The song that accelerated my walk with Christ.
After breakfast as I got in my car and reflected on this once-in-a-lifetime moment with a rock star, I felt disappointment - he doesn't do a Bible Study or a men's group or read a devotional. How is it that Steve is SO connected with God - so much more than me. I wanted a piece of that. I didn't get it.
Then, as I was about halfway home, I got it.
Steve is a songwriter - he's amazing.  God has given him the gift to write songs and express the himself with clever words. I cannot do that.  I am a radio guy. He probably doesn't know how to program a radio station - that's my gift.
More so, he is trying to find his way just like I am. Both of us seeking God using the gifts he's given to us.
I figured it out. Breakfast mission successful! 
And, by the way, when I was in the early of preparation for to start LIFE 100.3 and I was fundraising, Steve was the only Nashville rock star of those I approached, who made a donation.
December 9 - happy birthday, Steve!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Janice loves Lucy so for our anniversary last May I gave her (and me) a trip to Jamestown New York, the home of Lucille Ball, site of the Lucy Museum - a replica set of the I Love Lucy living roomt, her clothes and a mile or so away, the gravesite.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


When I was in my 20's, my best friend Jordan casually said to me, "When we grow up we turn into our parents".  He probably doesn't remember, but I do.

And, it is turning out to be true.

At the time I felt - "Oh, my gosh - I hope not!" Which now I'm ashamed to admit. After all, since Jordan's theory has turned out to be true, my kids will grow up to be like me. At one time I would have said, "How lucky for them!"  I guess that may not be the case. (This last paragraph is meant in jest.)

I remember my Mom bending down and picking up little pieces of lint or tiny bits of unknown stuff off the floor. At the time, I thought it was kinda silly. Now, I do that. I am turning into my Mom.

Every morning at the cottage, my Dad would sweep off the bugs that laid there overnight.  Now, I do that every morning.

I think I may have inherited my Dad's impatience. Some may call it a short temper - I'm calling it "impatience."

Mom and Dad gave me (and Janice) two wooden cottage chairs. In my mind's eye, I can see Mom and Dad sitting on the chairs, on the cottage patio, overlooking the view of the Trent River, sipping on their morning coffee.  Well, I don't drink coffee, but almost everyday in the good weather, Janice and I sit on our patio and enjoy our view of Lake Simcoe - and we sit in the same chairs!

Both Mom and Dad are deceased. The good memories remain.

I guess Jordan was right.

Brett and Crystal - you have SO MUCH to look forward to! Bah ha ha!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


One of the problems with being the manager of a business is that it's hard to get someone's opinion on a decision I need to make.

Here's an example - say, I want to change LIFE logo from red to blue or green. (We're not doing this in reality)

Voice of reason on left.
I'll say, "We've used red for so long, maybe it's time for a change".
Employee might say, "Ya, it's tired. Another colour would be fresh".
I'll say, "How about blue - like the skies, like the heavens above."
Employee might say, "Yes that's perfect. I like blue - it's a passive colour".
I'll say, "But, you know, red is the blood of Christ - it's the most appropriate"
Employee will say, "That's true - stay with what works".

In the example above, I've gone from one idea, to a new idea and back to the first idea and the employee follows me. I'm guessing that nobody wants to have a different opinion from the boss because they want to be supportive. 

So, I'll go to my wife. Quite often, she's the voice of reason. She'll disagree with me and state her reasons or agree with my plan and reassure me I'm on the right path. She good at bringing clarity to my ideas. But, I'd rather have the employees' opinion about business ideas since it might directly affect them.

Hmmm. I'm just thinking...maybe if we changed the LIFE logo to purple, like an Easter egg. Purple is one of the Easter colours, right?  I think that would remind people of the Easter message.....


Monday, September 21, 2015


This is the only photo of me taken during an Anthem For Today show that I know of.  To me, it is "the show within the show."   As the stage roadie for AFT, this is my usual position - crouched down in the pit, between the band and the audience, awaiting an urgent message from the stage.

During the first song I am totally alert. If something is going to go wrong, it will happen in the first minute. From my position, I'm watching for cues from the band about something they need adjusted. Often it's the in-ear monitors where one guy wants more guitar or less vocal. Each guy has a different mix and when once the audience is in the room, the acoustics of the room change. I'm the guy who relays that information to the front of house mixer Evan Duran​.

If I'm not down in front, I'm off to stage left or right, picking up subtle cues, or helping swap guitars or pulling sweaty jackets off without disturbing their guitar cables that run up their backs.

It always amazes me how all the musicians know where I am.  Because of the lights on the trees above the audience, usually the band can't see past the first row, especially if the Leco spot lights are on, but somehow we make eye contact.

The non-verbal, mime-only communication is especially magical with band lead singer Pip Lucas. Pip is able to convey most things to me with nothing more than a quick finger gesture. Sometimes, it's the in-ear mix he wants changed, or he wants a bar stool, or a towel, or wants to drop a song.

In most cases the audience would not notice our invisible communication.

Depending on the venue, I may have to push kids back from the giant sub speakers, on which, we have two LED lights. These are easily aimed and a bump from the audience could knock them off target, so it's my job to re-aim them to center stage.

Beyond stage roadie, my role with AFT is also Business Manager, Road Manager, Merchandising guy, Booking Agent and Personal Manager - I'm not sure which one I love more. I'm glad I don't have to choose.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


I like Terry Fox stuff almost as much as I like the Rolling Stones and Geoff Moore!

One of his shirts.
There is a touring exhibit about Terry's run, now in its 35 year, on display at the Museum of History (Civilization) in Ottawa.

I followed it on the news in 1981. He was one year younger than me. Since then, I've been to the monument in Thunder Bay where he ended the run, the location where he started in St. John's and his gravesite in Port Coquitlam. (That makes me a stalker?)

Here's some of the display.

The main leg - he had an alternate that wasn't as comfy.

Same leg - other side.

Terry's daily journal.

"The stinky" van.

Me and Terry.

His sock (check the holes) and shoe.

Presentation by Darryl Sittler.

The jug of water Terry filled in St. John's at the start of the run.

Friday, August 28, 2015


I'm usually reading two books at any time - one devotional for my spiritual life and something for fun like a biography, or music industry book, and once in a while - fiction.

For my role as Band Manager for Anthem For Today, I've got a hunger for information about the music industry - backstage stuff, how stuff works, marketing and hype, learning to connect with smarter people than me. All of it will help me guide AFT's career.

Two books I read on vacation might be of interest to you if you like music industry books. "Everybody Wants Some" by Ian Christie is the story of Van Halen. Being a classic rock fan, (and maybe a musicologist), this book told their story as kids, making people think they're the definitive California band even though none are from Cal, breaking into the music business doing free shows, going through lead singers and of course - how their manager saved the day.

The author goes through each Van Halen album, how each were planned and marketed by their manager. Actually they had three over the years - all brilliant guys.

There's a lot of junk in the book (sex, drugs and tattletale stuff) that I skipped over. But, overall, I had a hard time putting the book down, even while looking over the ocean from my cruise cabin.

The other book I read is "Roadie - my life on the road with Coldplay" by Matt McGinn.  The amazon description was so good, I ordered the book immediately. I'm not a Coldplay fan - in fact before reading the book, I only knew one song. (I know, I know - I'm late to this party!)

Matt is the full-time roadie for Jonny Buckland and the book is 50% about his off-stage work for Jonny - which is what I wanted to know.

Unfortunately, I don't think there was one single page that didn't glorify beer and F-bombs. It was excessive and after jumping pages, I absorbed the info I was looking for.

There was a redeeming factor - his emotional descriptions of events were bang on. Like, standing with the band backstage, for the two minutes before the band goes on stage - it's a nervous, brotherhood  moment - hard to put into words, but Matt did. I found myself saying, "Ya! Ya! Me too!"

Overall, it's a positive book - there's no dirt or gossip about Coldplay.

My next book is "We Are The Road Crew" by Ken Barr. I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, August 22, 2015


The Baltic Cruise - August 15-22, 2015.
August 12 - (evening/overnight) flew to Copenhagen, Denmark
August 13 - arrived in Copenhagen self-tour
August 14 - Copenhagen - biking to the beach
August 15 - depart via Royal Caribbean
August 16 - day at sea
August 17 - biking in Stockholm, Sweden
August 18 - bus tour of Tallinn, Estonia
August 19 - bus and canal tour of St. Petersburg, Russia
August 20 - biking in Helsinki, Finland
August 21 - day at sea
August 22 - arrived in Copenhagen, flew to Toronto; home
Here are the photo highlights.

Our hotel - crazy modern on the inside too. This is an actual photo from the road; the hotel sign is
outfront and you can see my shadow, just to show it's real. We biked or walked to "The Metro" subway to get around. Cool city - we liked it.

The plane ride - squishy, on Air Canada.

In Copenhagen - Amager Beach. Mostly manmade with an intercostal beach. It was about 7 km from our hotel across town.

Biking in Copenhagen. Good times.

Biking in Stockholm - 15km with tour guide, stopping outside the Abba Museum.
 "Sorry, no time to go inside!"

The bike ride was 3-hours. Our tour guide wanted to add some extra stops - we wanted to go back to the ship so we joined another nearby ride that was ship-bound. Until that tour guide took two extra stops and in the end he said, "you can go back to the ship - it's ....down there." Swell. Unorganized, no provision of water for the ride, otherwise, the scenery in Stockholm was awesome. Very bike-friendly city.

Stockholm - very nice. We liked.

We took a bus tour in Tallinn, Estonia. Lots of old stuff - churches, cathedrals.  While I'm not into old churches and stuff,  I did find it interesting that Russia invaded Estonia several times - a bunch of wars - and only recently (August 31, 1994) did Russia pull out.  What is odd, is that they have monuments that commemorate the fallen Russian soldiers who took control of their country. I asked the tour guide -  "why would you memorialize anything Russian?"  The tour guide didn't know.

The original wall around the town of Tallinn.  If you like history, you'd like it.

Hanging outside.

Bus tour - stopping at the Song Festival Grounds. They say 300,000 people attended a concert here. I find it very hard to believe - the photo doesn't do justice, but 300,000?

 In Russia, a Royal Caribbean excursion took us to an old (boring) palace. it was a really long tour. Here, we're in an underground walkway where a mystic faith healer ("and holy man" they say), Rasputin was running around. The "must see" portion of the excursion was our low-point of the day.

In the palace, on a wall was this painting. I stared at it wondering why it was familiar. I snapped this photo and then realized it reminded me of an album cover....(below)

This cover of the Rolling Stones "It's Only Rock and Roll" album. Hmmmm.  Ok - I know, I know - only I would notice something like this. I know. Not sure if there is a connection. Don't know the significance of the cover.

Canal tour in St. Petersburg. There was actual traffic jams!  Canal boats lined up to dock. It was so bad, that we dock against another boat and walked across THEIR boat to get off. Saw a bunch of old churches and stuff. Not recommended.

The worst souvenirs on the entire trip. They sell a lot of Matryoshka wooden dolls that stack on inside the other. I think I got one for xmas when I was four. Ugly and useless. I think these non-cute dolls are the biggest industry in Russia. No other souvenirs were interesting.

From the bus, "Oh there's St. Petersburg square over there....look...oops it's back there now!"  This was the only shot I got thru the bus window.  The only thing I wanted to see in Russia and it wasn't on the stop.

Something old in Russia. Everything is old. I was uninterested in this port and upon leaving, was happy to leave.
This was the most enjoyable port. It's funny how we rate our feelings about a country based on unrelated events, such as the tour guide. Unlike the bike tour in Stockholm, this was on time, organized, water provided, and pleasant guide.  Here is their Olympic stadium but -  "Sorry, no time to go inside".  We biked thru the marketplace so quickly there was no time to shop either. That was a disappointment. However, all of the facts about Finland he announced, made this country one to remember.

The railyard - I thought this was kinda cool. Our bike tour briefly stopped here.

Finland - down by the shore people bring their carpets and beat the dirt out of them, wash them on the table and hang them to dry. Everybody's doing it. Apparently this is a popular thing to do.

On board.

Sibelius Monument is dedicated to the Finnish composer Jean Sibelius
Too many photos to go thru so I just picked a few. Overall, the trip was "ok". By far, having a balcony stateroom was more enjoyable than the ports. The downsize of the cruise was the internet cost - $240 for a week, for two people. I sprang to buy 24 hours for $36. Crazy.

Looking more forward to San Francisco by Royal Caribbean!