Thursday, April 19, 2018

STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES

Remember the expression "stop and smell the roses?"  It means we need to take time out of our busy schedule to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of life. 

This is easier for me to do at this stage in my life. My business is established. My career is built - I'm not trying to climb the ladder of success. I'm an empty nester. My schedule is crammed with stuff.

Some of my friends are so busy being busy that they don't have time to stop and smell the roses. More so, life is controlling them, not them controlling their busy lives.

I've noticed some people with kids are controlled by their kids. They don't go to movies, or hang out with friends because they "have kids".  It looks to me like their kids are running the show.  (Now, I'm not thinking of anyone in particular so don't think I'm trying to speak to you, specifically, through this blog.)

Other people are so used to being in a routine that they don't venture out of the house. No dates with their spouse, no going to the theatre, or a party, or a concert - they just stay home. It's just easier to stay home, in a boring routine, than doing something. No exercise - just lame TV shows washing over them on the couch.

I hear "We can't get a baby-sitter". Maybe your circle of friends is small?  Maybe, (I'm shouting) because you don't go out of the house and meet people!

To each his own. Maybe staying home brings you joy, in some bizarre, sedimentary kind of way.

I'm in a very fortunate position to be at the top of the food chain in my business - I get to run the show. I have a great staff (that I hired) and a house that's paid for.  Ya, and my kids have a great family, and like Janice and I, God is first in the lives of our kids.

Smart people I met told me when I was younger, to burn. I worked bloody hard, learned lots, met smart people and built a life and career so that at this stage in my life, I don't have to work so hard. I have time to stop and smell the roses.

The roses for me are sometimes social, but mostly meditative.

It's being thankful for the life I have.  Call it luck, or hard work - either. Maybe both. But I'm grateful that I take time to take it all in, like inhaling a huge lung of appreciation.

My message is this: get a babysitter. Go out. Enjoy the life you've built. Get off the treadmill of being busy. You're only busy because you've made it like that.





Friday, April 6, 2018

QUESTIONS I GET ASKED

2018
 As the guy on the radio, once a week anyway, me and my listeners used to have a one-way relationship. I talk, they listen.  But that's changed a bit with social media. I've met many people who have messaged me online and in some cases become we've more than virtual friends. Because of social media, you can now have a relationship with public people.

Here are a few questions, I'm commonly asked.

What was your first job?
I worked at Sam The Record Man in Toronto for five years.  It was the second location after the downtown Yonge Street location - at Towne And Country Square in North York.

What was your first radio job?
I worked part-time for two summers at CHEX in Peterborough, in the studio, but not on air.  My first on-air job was at CKLC in Kingston.

Why Christian music?
My answer is the same as everyone's - it's the lyrics. They remind me of my faith. They remind me of the guy God wants me to be. It re-focuses me when I get distracted.

What do you do when you're not doing radio?
I manage two national recording artists - Luke Langman - a pop/worship artist; and Tom Roe - a country/gospel artist. I also play percussion in Tom's band.

What's something most people don't know about you?
I did professional modelling a few years ago through the Orange Modelling Agency, but the work was sparse for my age group. I learned a lot of visual stuff that I've been able to transfer to LIFE.

CKLC Kingston, about 1983.
Do you miss secular radio?
No. Maybe because I'm still active with a pre-recorded weekly show on CJAI near Kingston where I manage to weave in a few Christian tunes between Supertramp and Alice Cooper.

You wrote a book?
Ya, it's called "Herding Kittens". It's my story of my journey with the Christian rock band Anthem For Today.  We did nearly 150 shows together. I have fabulous memories, an award, videos, number one songs and a tattoo.  I also wrote "Good To Great - The Christian Radio Version". I was written to motivate and teach new radio people how to do radio.

Are you a gym rat?
No, I just work out a lot.

Is there something you'd like to see?
Ya, I'd like to walk across the crosswalk at Abbey Road.

Is there someone in Christian music you'd like to meet?
I've met just about everyone. The one who I never got to meet is Keith Green. That would have been great.

Thanks for asking!

Friday, March 23, 2018

SHARATHON 2018 - LIVE IT WELL

I love Sharathon!  None of us at LIFE are working our usual jobs - we're all focused on Sharathon and  our special visitors.


  • Visitors - volunteers on shifts to take pledges at phone central.
  • Artists - performing live in the studio
  • Pastors - offering encouragement and challenges
  • Listeners - on tour, dropping off donations.


Behind the scenes - here's what we do:

The actual planning committee begins in November with weekly meetings. Our core staff have done this many times so, while it is very detailed, it tends to run with a bullet-proof checklist. This year we had four new employees, experiencing their first Sharathon.

  1. Volunteers - the only time of the year we bring in outside unpaid help.
  2. Bookkeeping - keeping all the money organized, during Sharathon and follow-up
  3. Promotions - keeping facebook fresh, updating the totals
  4. Production - listener testimony, artist greetings and all the features you hear between the songs
  5. FOH - our front of house engineer, mixing the live performances
  6. Hospitality - welcoming guests, feeding them, keeping them coralled
  7. Video - recording guest greetings and producing
  8. Programming - overseeing all on-air shifts and elements
  9. Ministry Relations - booking Pastor's for specific shifts
  10. Artist Relations - booking artists for their performances
  11. Runner - keeping the pledge cards moving from one place to the next
  12. IT - Computer Elite, on location and on stand-by to keep phone central fully operational
  13. Street Team - helping decorate, answer phones, sell merch, meet & greet
  14. Food Coordinator - managing snacks, meals and healthy stuff so we don't have to leave 
  15. After Party - when all is said and done, we have a staff party nearby, but not too late  


Now, the best of photo collection


Me, watching the new totals being posted at the end of Sharathon

The After Party - at Todd Gale's house.

Allen Schenk, principal of Unity Christian High School in Barrie

The finale - everyone. L-R - Jake Stanley (Part-time DJ), Steve Bradley (morning co-host), Mike Poirier (morning news)
Steve Jones (Operations Manager), Deborah Pinder (Street Team), Crystal Martin (Promotions Manager)
Janice Baird (Bookkeeper), Andrew Haverson (Runner), Scott Jackson (Founder), Todd Gale (Morning Personality), Marliene Cathline (Receptionist), Cody Marshall (Part-time DJ) Terry Molinaro (evening personality),
Nathasha Drummond  (Production Manager) and Marilyn Bryson (Receptionist).

Me with Brooke Nicholls and Steve Lensink

Steve and Brooke looking at Air Raid memories.

David Mann, Pastor Rick Buck from Emmanuel Barrie and Steve Jones.

Steve Jones and Crystal Martin

A bunch of us with Pastor Jenn Wager from Barrie Free Methodist Church
Matthew Fox with Bob Hawkins and Ron Hill

Sky Terminal lead singer Marcel Preston with Steve Jones.





Steve Jones and me.

Phone Central volunteers

Me, Steve and Todd.


Todd Dugard lead pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, and me.

me, with the Tom Roe Orchestra.

Paul Turner from Emmanuel Barrie and Steve Jones.





Saturday, February 3, 2018

JUST BE NICE

People aren't very nice - at least on Facebook.

I find that odd because everyone's profile is visible. We know who they are and quite likely those people are my real life friends. They wouldn't speak unkindly to my face but on Facebook, people post as if they are anonymous. They think their opinion is categorically the only way. That's my interpretation.

In the last two years, people have become offended ... at everything.

They don't like hearing an opinion that differs from their's and so they post their opinion, as if they are trying to win an argument. I'll admit, on some topics, they might be correct - but their choice of wording actually makes them arrogant.

When I post my opinion, I've read replies like, "I used to think like you, but..."  I guess I have a lot to learn before I can be like them.

The arrogance on Facebook bothers me, alot. Why? Because I don't think it's a becoming quality of Jesus followers.  My respect for those friends has dropped and now, I actually find them unlikable. The arrogant people don't know they're arrogant and they sure don't want to be corrected.

I have two suggestions. And, hopefully, I'm not being arrogant! Haha!


I love and believe very much that we need to cling to the Bible verse in Philippians 4:5 - "Let your gentleness be evident to all." It's a simple line and each word carries weight.
  • Let - It's like allowing. We have a choice to "let" or not.
  • Gentleness - the key word. Like, kindness.
  • Evident - so that people see it. It's noticeable.
  • To all - everyone. The people who don't like and those you do like.
My second suggestion comes from a radio DJ friend who doesn't claim to be a Christian but his words are just as clear. Years ago, Tarzan Dan and I were talking about our careers, which had both stalled at the time. And he said to me, "be nice. Just be nice to everyone."

Tarzan Dan's quote doesn't need an explanation. If we were all nice to each other on Facebook, our newsfeeds would be a bit brighter. Facebook wouldn't be a warzone between friends. Maybe, people would get along.

Me, I have one criteria I try to remember before I post something publicly. I ask myself, what will my family think, and what would (name of respected friend) think when they see my post? Will they roll their eyes and I'll lose their respect or will they applaud me?

The next time you respond to a post, wait. Just a few seconds and ask yourself - am I being nice?  Am I gentle? Or, am I an arrogant jerk.