Monday, November 20, 2017

Who Do You Blame?

Here's the headline...

Man forgets where he parked car, finds it 20 years later

I thought this was funny at first.  A guy was absent minded and  lost a pretty big item!

Here's the story...

Back in 1997 in the German city of Frankfurt, a man reported his car as stolen to the police. 
Twenty years later, the authorities tracked down the missing vehicle, only to discover that the man who owned it had in fact, just forgotten where he’d parked the car and had assumed it had been stolen. 

The vehicle was found in a garage in an old industrial building that is due to be demolished. 

The car was in the way of the demolition so it was reported to the police who then investigated who the owner was. The man, now 76-years-old, was driven by the police with his daughter to be reunited with the car. 

Unfortunately the car was no longer functional and had to be scrapped.

I thought about it a bit, and I saw something important.  

For 20 years this guy blamed someone else for his lack of a car. 

 It was his fault all along! 

What do we have in our lives that we blame others for, that might just be OUR fault? 

Would it be anger over a failed relationship?  (You were really the selfish one.)

Would it be bitterness about being broke?  (You spent wildly and never saved.)

How about resentment for losing a job?  (You were on YouTube instead of working.)

Over the years those issues, if not claimed and dealt with, get rusty and immobile.

On the day you discover it was YOU all along, what will you say?  Oops, sorry?

Deal with it NOW!  Don't let the "authorities" make you claim your piece of junk.

Own it.

Scrap it.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

30th Anniversary Dinner

We wanted to do something awesome to celebrate our 30th Anniversary.

There were discussions of jetting off to Europe, but that was not going to happen.  

We wanted to maybe fly to somewhere sunny, but again, no dice.

It has to be something good because, you know, even numbers, three decades, we're still here!

We like to watch Netflix on a tablet while we have supper sometimes.  

I know that Rose likes shows that feature creativity and home design.  

I was on the hunt for a show that she would like that we could binge-watch for a week or so during meals.

I found on called "A Taste of the Country" and I knew she would love it!  

Here is the description of the show:

The reality series Taste of the Country spotlights Danielle French, her team and her family as they work together to create magical events at the farm. Will rain ruin a wedding? Will the judges like South Pond’s creative butter tarts? Take a behind-the-scenes look at the stress, laughter and love that go into everything at South Pond Farms.

That sounded fun! 

We took a chance on the show and she took to it right away!  
She even predicted what the host would do in a situation, based on her own tastes!  
It was a bit freaky!

During one of the episodes, the host mentioned the town of Lindsay.  I thought, wait a minute, is that the same Lindsay that's just down the road?
It was!  This place that was the subject of this show my wife was connecting with was in the neighborhood! 

I jumped on the world wide web and sought out the place and discovered they were holding event like they featured in the show...on the weekend of our anniversary.

I love a no-brainer decision!

I clicked the mouse and the reservations were made!

We were going to a 6 course food tasting event, limited to 12 people and prepared by a professional chef!

The gang for the night!
The menu.

So here's what happened.

We arrived and were greeted by the host, Danielle French.  She introduced the Chef and we headed out to the open bonfire.  It was dark, so you couldn't see much but it was intimate and welcoming.
The Grill was hot and there were starter finger type foods that involved small pieces of bread and what I thought was caviar.  Turns out the official word is canapes.  There ya go, you learned something.

Next, we went inside and started the courses.

#1 Fire Roasted Corn Farm Potage
This stuff was tasty, because of the bacon!  Apparently these pigs are fed only with the leftover mash from a brewery in the area.  It's got potatoes and cold pressed garlic oil on top.  Great start!

#2 Harvest Salad
Then came the salad.  It looks like "some assembly required".  I found out it's called "deconstructed" salad.  There you learned something else.  (You're on a roll, stick around!)

#3 Linwood Farms Trout Chorizo
This one was a favorite.  It's a sausage made from trout.  It had a nice texture to it and came with chick peas and tomato butter.  

#4 Hunter's Stew
Now we're getting serious!  This was a huge chunk of Bison, cooked and smoked on the outside charcoal grill!  It was tasty, like a prime rib, but more smokey.  I ate mine and some of Rose's!  There were also meat balls made from wild boar.  It was in a mushroom broth along with pickled garlic.

#5 Celebration of Ontario Cheese
The bread was sooooo good!
 Chef McKenna explained all the dishes to us before we ate, and for this one he stressed he only gets local cheese.  The blue cheese was tangy, the cheddar was sharp and the roasted walnuts were a nice touch to!
#6 Bethany "Smores"
Dessert time!  This was a version of a s'more!  You've got the chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers all served up in a unique way.  Tasty!  Bring on the coffee!
Quick selfie before the coffee!

Chef McKenna!
This meal was very special.  The staff makes sure you feel at home and they let you know the night is all about you!  I even got to DJ the music!  It's all served in a dry-shed converted to a kitchen/dining room.
Unique lighting!

Old style charm.
Rose liked the night so much, she's going back!  There's a bread making workshop she will be doing with some of the ladies she met at the event!

Here's some links if you want to check it out.  South Pond FarmsWorkshops.  Tasting Nights.

We were happy customers and would recommend this for a fun and unique night out!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

More Wisdom From 30 Years of Marriage.

Previously on "The ToddBlog"...

Our hero shared some of his wisdom on the blessed sacrament.  But he wasn't quite finished.

As they say on TV,,,

"But wait, there's more!"

Here's some bonus thoughts on being married 30 years.

I thought I should mention some things about communication.

I suck at it.

There, I said it.

People with my personality type, live in their heads. 

It's good to think, but once in a while, those thoughts need to translate into actual words that exit the mouth so they can be heard and be understood. 

Then appropriate responses can be rendered like "What?"

Learn to talk.

If you're not good at it, make grunting noises until they become coherent sentences.

And when you DO talk, be kind and gentle. 

It's not the end of the world if you took the wrong turn to get somewhere.  Chill!

Laugh about it.

Some homes have a general sense of anger and frustration lingering in the air.

It's evident in the tone of voice and comments made.  Clear the air of that.  It stinks anyway.

WISDOM NUGGET:  If you say something, think about your endgame.

Think, "Am I saying this just to be the one who wins the argument?"

Is it THAT important for you to parade around the "Won An Argument Award"?

Try this instead...

Respond in a way that makes the other person feel safe and loved, not belittled and embarrassed.. 

Mic drop.

**I've been doing all the sharing, so how about you?  What's something YOU have learned?**

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Things I've Learned Being Married for 30 Years

Rose and I were married on November 8th 1987 at The Potter's House Church on Trout Lake Road in North Bay.

Neither of us understood what we were doing.  Me, more so.

Now that I am in my 50's, I joke that NOW I'm ready to get married and raise kids!

I know how to do it now!

I have a lot of respect for, Rose because in hindsight I would not have picked me for a suitable partner for marriage.

I was emotionally immature, selfish, delusional about my future and lacking any relationships skills.

Wait a second, I'm still those things!  Maybe less so, I hope!

I have now been married for an even 30 years and I have picked up a few tidbits of intelligence along the way.

I still believe in the institution of marriage.  It's popular these days to live together, without all the formal pageantry or legal documents, but in my opinion, the relationship two people can have is worth the investment in making the "official declaration".  In the end, relationships is all we really take from this life, they are the only impression we leave on the world, the only thing really worth anything at all.  In a way, relationships are priceless.
So, no matter what form or tradition it involves, I believe settling the "you and only you" question with a degree of ceremony and honor is a good and lasting thing.

We all like lists, so here we go...

1.  Few marriages are perfect, so get qualified help when you need it.  There is a danger in keeping things "in house".  It creates isolation and shuts down communication.  If you can't talk about it, it won't get solved.  In a marriage there are often opposite personalities at work, one is a talker the other internalizes.  A third party who understands the dynamics can assist the channels of communication open up.  I must stress that any help you get must be QUALIFIED!  We once sought help from a couple who were really heavy on the spiritual side of things, and not very knowledgeable about the mechanics and psychology of relationships.  It wasn't very helpful in the end. (And kind of weird.)

2.  Decide how you will handle training the kids and stick to it.  I always tried to call discipline "training".  I wanted my kids to understand that if they were going to suffer consequences for their actions, it was not because they had angered me or Rose.  The times they may have done something amiss, yes, I was disappointed and a little angry, but punishment was a way to prepare them for the real world.  I really made an effort to help them understand this.  It's easy to punish kids just for our own satisfaction, but we have to remember they are tiny humans who will one day be part of groups of other humans.
I once had to take something away from my son that I gave him.  It was a BIG thing that I took great joy in giving him, but he did something unwise with it and I had to do something.  It broke my heart.  It still hurts, but I felt it was necessary.  Rose supported me and we got through it.
Even things like telling them to keep their room clean was not because we were anal about cleanliness, it was because it's a good idea and good practice to care for your things.

3.  Do the Love Language Test.  Click here NOW to take it!   I think the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman should be part of the bible.  I really do.  It's THAT helpful.  I was amazed to discover my Love Language was "Quality Time".  I always thought that was the "feminine" one!  I was wrong!  It helps to understand how your partner receives love.  If you want to fill their "Love Tank" you have to know when it's empty.  If you are wrong, you're wasting time!  If people are giving you gifts, and you really would like to just talk, there's no love transaction gonna happen!  Give it a try!

4.  Let whoever does the money better, handle the finances, but agree on where they go.

5.  Have adventures together,  Take a different road.  Visit odd places.

6.  Hugs.

7.  It's not that important to be right.

8.  Be patient.  It's a fruit of the spirit, so trust God you have it and let it grow.

9.  Have fun.

There's more to add, but for now, that's enough!

Thank you Rose for not giving up on me!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Radio Boot Camp 2017!

Radio Boot Camp 2017!

Working at LIFE is a great job.  I'm thankful every day.

One awesome thing about being on staff here is the opportunity to learn from various outstanding broadcasting pros.

We've been treated to seminars from people in the business who help us excel at what we do.

These times are very enriching and eye opening!

You leave with tons of notes and a new outlook on your work day and your life!

Recently we got to spend some time away as a group at Elim Lodge near Buckhorn.

There was a rainbow!  Cool!

Elim Lodge sunrise!

It was a day and a half "Radio Boot Camp"!

The schedule included guest speaker, Brant Hansen.from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Brant has a long history in broadcasting and Christian radio in particular.

He currently works for CURE International and does a syndicated radio show across lots of stations in the US.  He's a passionate believer who has also written two books. is his website.

Brant Hansen

Me, Carolyn Hansen, Brant Hansen, Steve Bradley

He spoke about many things that helped us on-air people as well as the sales team and Street Team people!

There was live music to!  All Rescued Children performed the first night and Luke Langman performed the next afternoon!

All Rescued Children!

Luke Langman and Jake Stanley

Luke Langman performs!

There was also a time in the program for LIFE staff to share their story!

Janice Baird

Steve Bradley

Crystal Martin
There were tears all around as Steve Bradley, Crystal Martin, Janice Baird, Jake Stanley and Deborah Pinder shared!

Elim Lodge were great hosts and the food was outstanding!

Table selfie!  Andrew Robertson (Saturday host and Ask The Pastor), Jessica Rennie (Sales Team-York Region), Marilyn Bryson (Reception) and Glen Sye (Sales Team -Simcoe County)!

Steve Bradley (The Get-Up & Go Show), David Mann (Afternoons), Cody Marshall (The Slam), Jake Stanley (Street Team), Mike Poirier (News)!

Me and Scott Jackson (Station manger and Coke drinker!), Janice Baird (Office manager)
Here's an interesting proverb, Proverbs 13:20 - Walk with the wise and you will become wise!

I feel like this proverb happened over the Boot Camp weekend!

Thank you Scott Jackson for a wonderful two days!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Your move...

Steph Curry
We often hear about big time athletes who profess faith.  

They regularly point to the sky after a touchdown, goal or three-pointer.

Tim Tebow
That's great and all.  But I think some sports get more attention than others.

There are other believers who rely on faith just as much, but maybe they don't get the highlight reel spotlight.

That's this fellow.
Wesley So - Chess Champion
Wesley So is the US champion Chess Player!  A grand master!
He became a Christian after moving in with a foster family who were mature believers and encouraged him to pursue his passion for the game.  He gets mocked a bit by other players because chess champions are normally not people of faith. 
But he's grown strong and loves to share Jesus! 

Here's an interesting quote from him...

"People in the chess world sometimes want to know whether I think God makes me win matches. Yes. And sometimes he makes me lose them too. He is the God of chess and, more importantly, the God of everything. Win or lose, I give him the glory. Of course, it’s hard when I don’t get what I want, the way it is for any child whose father says no. But even when I don’t understand God’s ways, I’m confident that his vision is much bigger than my own."

This is from a guy who is trained and makes a living thinking five or six moves ahead of his opponent. 

He sees God operating like a chess player!

There are reasons for every move. 

Sometimes it looks like you're losing because you've sacrificed your best piece.

This is a great perspective on life from a guy who has learned patience and faith in a way not most of us have! 

Read his story here...

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Dove Awards 2017

What good are awards shows?  Have you ever asked that?

It's a good question. 

At LIFE 100.3, the music contains the message we want to get out there. 

The music in a way IS the ministry. 

We are a radio station, and you tune in to hear your favorite songs.

Those songs are written and performed by artists.  These artists have lived the music.

They have written the lyrics you sing, the tunes you hum and perform the songs at concerts in your town.  (Or one close to you.)

At LIFE we want to connect with the artists as much as possible because it allows YOU to hear from them about the "why".  The reasons they do what they do. 

The artists convey stories of God's love through their music and through their lives.  I love that.

The songs always have a deeper message than the one you hear.

These artists make themselves vulnerable sometimes on a daily basis.  They share their pain and victories. They share their weaknesses, they share their doubts.  They share their struggles, and we echo their words with "Me to."

For an artist to have an idea, and then to write a song, then to perform and practice that song, then to record and then market and promote that song, take countless hours!  Those are hours that take a toll on them physically and sometimes emotionally.

They spend time away from their families on the road, making little money, all for the love of what they do, and the hope that what they have put out there will in some way touch a heart and change a life.  Maybe YOUR life.

Awards shows in other industries, can be mostly self-serving.  Awards shows in Christian music are just an extension of the ministry!

I've been to two GMA Awards shows now and each time I am so impressed by the commitment of each artist to what they do.

The crowd grows in Nashville.
It's easy just to accept an award, thank Jesus and your agent and family and then sit down, but it always goes further than that!  The importance of the impact of gospel music is always highlighted, and artist always are thankful they are a part of something way bigger then themselves.

Bart Millard from MercyMe.

Chris Tomlin.
It's also an excuse to get dressed up and celebrate a little!

Awards shows.  I like 'em, but for the right reasons!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Family Fun.

My wife Rose summed it up nicely.

She said "I love my family."

She ought to know.  She grew up in a family of 10 kids!

She says meal times at her house were like a fight for survival!  If you didn't grab food, it was gone!

She says they at food grown from their garden during the week, and weekends were family outings to KFC and a picnic.

It was loud, chaotic and there were often arguments!  She loved it!

Was it a perfect family?  No, there were issues, but our wonderful brains help us remember the good things and filter out the bad ones.

Family is all important to her.  I came from a smaller family, three boys.  We all had our own stuff and there were not that many fights.  Things were quiet! (Usually)

I am blessed to have the best of both worlds now!  We have three kids.  The number three is something from MY background, and they love being loud and fun, something from HER background!

Now that we are an empty nest couple, we enjoy when we can get the whole brood together in one place for Thanksgiving and play games and eat food!

This year, Barrie was the venue!

We planned to take some family pictures, carve pumpkins and consume some turkey!

The weather was not great, but we did manage to get in some picture taking time and they turned out great!

My daughter, Jasmine was the photographer and she did a fantastic job!

We ate a bunch of food and played some of our favorite games, Yahtzee and Aggravation!

We also had a lot of fun with our Nerf guns.  Don't ask me why, but we have quite an arsenal of these things!

The boy also bought new ones that fire little sponge ping pong like balls that actually hurt a bit!

Good times!

They all went home on the Sunday, and the house got really quiet again!  It was filled with wonderful memories that we can take with us forever!

A Wonderful Influence.

I became a Christian in the 80's while watching TV.

I had been to a number of Christian events but had not really bought into the whole thing.

I felt pressured and uncomfortable to make a commitment in front of people. 

When I was given an opportunity to pray with someone on TV in the privacy of my living room, I did it.

The man on the screen was Pat Robertson, and the program was the 700 Club. It's a daily spiritual talk show. 

The guests spoke about the miracles that God did for them. 

The commentary was always relevant and the hosts were well spoken. 

In Canada we have a similar program.

 It's 100 Huntley Street.

Why the similarities with using numbers in the names of the show, I am not really sure.

The founder of 100 Huntley Street was a man named, David Mainse. 

To me he seemed a bit too "smiley".  How can anyone keep a grin for so long? 

He was a man in stark contrast to Pat Robertson, the outspoken American.

David was soft spoken, kind and earnest. 

Being a kid from a border town, I was used to the brashness of our southern neighbors, so I cut my teeth on watching 700 Club and left the Canadian Shows to find their own audience elsewhere.  (Seniors, I thought.  That's their guy!)

Fast forward to 2010.

I am employed in Christian media in Sudbury.  It's been a dream of mine since I became a believer. 

I had thought I would end up in TV, but I was in Christian Radio at KFM, hosting the morning show and doing production.  Our station manager told us one day that 100 Huntley Street founder, David Mainse will be coming through Sudbury on a "Thank You Canada" tour!  He was to speak at Glad Tidings Church, which he was instrumental in building!  He also had some free time and we were invited to cruise Lake Ramsey along with him and his grand daughter and her husband!  I was intrigued to meet this man I had heard about.  The 80's were a tumultuous time for preachers on TV.  They were not trusted and being mocked.  David weathered those storms with integrity and Huntley Street kept true to it's mission to reach the lost!

It was a wonderful day and I was very impressed with David.  As the trip went on, he was easy going and loved to chat about the Lord!  At one point he lifted up his voice and said something like "Thank you Jesus for this wonderful day!"

There was no pretension, no hint that he was anything else than a genuine believer, doing his best to win people to the savior!

I was saddened to hear about his passing, September 25. 

He had been sick for some years.

My wife and I were blessed to be at his celebration of life service at Church on the Queensway in Toronto.

I was moved by the stories of David's faithfulness and authenticity.  My admiration deepened even more.  I determined  to model my life along his example!  He was a great father and husband to.

I would urge you to watch the service and allow his influence to guide you to!


Monday, October 2, 2017


Rose crossed the finish line first!
Is it a smile or grimace?

Over the course of a bout a year, my wife and I have been on "a weight loss journey".

We are in our 50's and the nest is empty, so we have been taking steps to make sure our years as a couple again are healthy and happy!

It's been a cool thing to watch the scale tell me the results of taking positive steps to improve my health.

I have lost about 60lbs so far, and, Rose about 30!

Motivation is key when you do these things, so we decided to add some challenges.

You need a goal to focus on, so I signed us up for, what I thought was the easiest thing we could do.

A 5K run!  It was at the Toronto Zoo!

I got a little crazier and we did the Tough Mudder Half last month!

That was a breeze compared to running for 5 kilometers!

I dreaded doing this because I HATE running!

I get winded quickly and wasn't sure I could keep up!

Rose has stronger legs than me so I thought I would be holding her back!

Turns out, we picked a pace and did it!

It was about 30 degrees out and we were dripping with sweat, but we got our finisher medal and went home happy!

I was really encouraged to see people from all levels of fitness out doing the run!

Here's the lesson I learned...

You can do more than you think you can, you just have to commit to something a little scary and then do it!  Even if you fail, you will have done something that forces you to grow and see yourself and the world differently!

Make awesome happen!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Attention Please!

I have never given a dime to Facebook and it's likely you haven't either.

So how are they so stinking rich?

Facebook is huge! Their stock is about $160 a share. How is this possible?

They are so rich because of competition for YOUR attention.

They want to make a living off your attention, and it's happening!

Facebook sells advertising. It's about 82% of it's income.

Advertising only works when you have the attention of your target customer. (That's you!)

The advertisers pay for it, but you give it away for free!

Your attention has value!

Your attention directs your life!

Proverbs 4:20-27New American Standard Bible (NASB)

20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your sight;
Keep them in the midst of your heart.
22 For they are life to those who find them
And health to all [a]their body.

Your attention has helped Facebook build a $42 million headquarters building in San Francisco!

Are they evil?

I don't think so.

I think Facebook is building on a desire we all have to connect with others and share our lives.

Let's not forget though, that where we put our attention will ultimately be where we end up.

Don't give your attention cheaply!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Live Like A Billionaire!

I read an article recently about the lifestyles of young billionaires. That's right I said BILLIONAIRES.

They are all in their 20's. In my 20's I was managing a salary under $300 a week I think.

Never in a million years would I have ever thought you could be a billionaire that young.

It seems like a recipe for disaster. Unlimited money with the foolishness of youth!

I was interested to see what these fresh-faced kids were doing with their time.

Well it turns out, stuff not much different than you or me!

21 year old Alexandra Andreson has a net worth of $1.3 billion thanks to her fathers investment banking.

She's the youngest one. What does she do?

She rides horses. I can do that. You can do that.

You can take a lesson for not to much money! When you do, you will have lived like a billionaire!

She likes to go hiking, camping and fishing. You can to! I've done it!

She enjoys skiing. She has a dog. She lives at home with her father.

I have done those things! I'm feeling richer! How about you?

A girl has gotta shop, right? What good is all that loot if you can't spend it?

If she's in the mood, she'll buy a new purse or handbag. Right, ladies?

Her handbags have different brand names, but in the end you have to like the style right?

She also buys some shoes or a watch. Who hasn't done that?

If she's feeling adventurous, she'll get a different haircut. Done it!

Another one is 23-year-old Gustav Magnar Witz√łe from Norway.

He is worth a staggering $1.8 billion and owns 47% of Norwegian salmon producer Salmar, which was gifted to him in 2013 by his dad.

What does he do?

He golfs.

I can do that! Not well, but I can chase a white ball around all day! Billionaire living!

Then there's 27 year old, John Collison. He's an Irish entrepreneur who founded payment company Stripe with his brother in 2010, which went on to make the pair both billionaires in their own right after a deal in 2016. John is now worth an estimated $1.1 billion.

He does fun-runs. That means he participates in runs for charity!

The last guy, invented an internet app you may have heard of, "Snapchat".

Evan Spiegel is the 27-year-old founder and CEO. With a net worth of $3.5 billion, he's the wealthiest billionaire on this list.

Evan pretty much stays off social media!

You can do that to if you want to live like a billionaire!

Here's an interesting scripture...

1 Timothy 6:6-11 But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
You and I may not be billionaires, but, in the end if we live a life on simple contentment, doing things that make us happy and having good relationships, we are truly rich indeed!