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 Witzøe 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!

Monday, September 11, 2017

You Are Loved. (You jerk!)




I do not have any grandchildren, but I am looking forward to it. 


Kids without all the responsibility, great fun! 

But if we are talking kids or grand kids, we can all agree that we love our children just because they exist

It's a pure love of sorts. These little ones did not do anything for us. 

They can't pay us back, they have no job, no language...they just are! 

We love them, intensely, we would even give our lives for them. 

If you have ever had thoughts like, "No one loves me", that's a lie.

Have you ever wanted to invite someone to a party or wedding or function, just cause you wanted them there? 

They're not singing or doing juggling to entertain everyone, they're just awesome to have around. 

That's you! 

I believe there is a God, I believe, He is love. I believe everyone, including me, is loved, just because we're here. 

It means that even the most notorious person is loved...by someone!

How can that be? I'm not sure but it happens! Many a true crime story has a person who believes in and stands by the person who committed the law breaking activity. It's amazing! Men on death row have fans. 

It's hard to understand love. 

It's not a feeling, it's an action to. 

God loves you. 

The biggest failure. The biggest public failure! The most hated criminal. Wow.

It's comforting and amazing all at once.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Summer post season interview.


The media has questions for Summer...
We all have a favorite season. 

We're big fans of it. 

I wish we could cheer on our favorite season, just like a sports team, and see it come back and win, but it doesn't happen.

Summer has a lot of fans and I think they are disappointed with the overall performance this year. 

There was one day this week that just felt so cold!  It was still August!

I think, summer has given up! It's given up too early!

I imagine that summer has bowed out of the season, and now it's time for the post season interview, like in the NHL.

Summer has a towel around it's neck, it's marching down the hallway going back to the dressing room, and we the media, have a few questions for it.

MEDIA:  "Summer, summer, can we get a quick word...?"

SUMMER: (Heavy breathing, exhausted, limping...) Sure...

MEDIA:  "This season started off rough for you, you didn't really gain any momentum, and from what we're seeing and feeling, it's all over. What happened out there?"
SUMMER:  "Well, I know it's a let down for all the fans, but you gotta know when enough is enough, you know? Clouds were really strong this year, they came out hard and never let up, rain was in there to making things difficult. The moon blocked us out that one day. That was bizarre. It was a struggle to get temperatures up anywhere near 30, and just, by the end of August, I just knew I had nothing left in the tank. It's time to call it a game, regroup and start thinking about next season. You know, I have the best fans on the planet, I want to thank you guys for your support, for getting out there and making an effort, even though you had your doubts. I saw that, it means a lot. We'll see everyone next year."
MEDIA:  "All right, that was Summer, stepping aside a little early, gracefully and gratefully, I think it deserves a hearty applause for the effort this year..." 

(CLAPPING)

Sunday, September 3, 2017

What Are You Ready To Hear?


I've lost 60 pounds. 

Check it out...
In Sudbury at over 220lbs
Same bench, 60lbs lighter.  I'm sure the bench felt better.

Those were 60 pounds of extra flesh I did not need and did not want anymore.  

I looked down at my gut one day and realized this was unacceptable.  There was no excuse for it.

I realized that it would only go away if I was honest about how it happened and honest about how to eliminate it.

I was the only one who could do something about it.

So I did it!  I lost 60 pounds!

It was me.  Jesus didn't take the weight off, I did!  (With His help!)

I feel great, and I think I look way better.

I look back at pictures of myself from before and I can hardly believe it's me.

Truthfully, looking at those pictures, I got a little angry.  Why didn't someone say something?

The reality is, a few people did, but I was not ready to hear it yet.

That's what I want to talk to you about.

Real change only happens when you are ready to hear the truth about something.

Because if the ground of your heart is hard, the seeds of change can't be planted and get stolen by the hungry birds of bitterness!

Real change only happens when you are given the tools make a change.

Because, knowledge is power.  The more you know, the more you can grow.

Real change only happens when hold on to hope.

Because change is slow sometimes.  Plus, other people need to get used to the new you!

In my case, I had to do the work.  The biking, the walking, watching my food, it's on me.

I can change me, but I can't change others.

I can be an influence, but I can't change someone else.

Let's make it personal, YOU, have to want it.  Whatever "it" is.

A better marriage.  A restored relationship.  Improved health.  Freedom from the past.

It happens because you come to the end of yourself, drop the excuses and go for it.

What are you ready to hear today?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Going to the Movies


I used to love going to the movies.

I mean really loved it!

If I knew I was going to a movie that night, my day was pretty awesome.

The anticipation was wonderful!

I enjoyed the smell, the sights, the sounds, everything about the theater was fascinating.

I remember seeing Superman-The Movie, King Kong (The silly 70's version) and of course Star Wars!

We saw Star Wars 3 times.  It played in London, about an hours drive!

We pestered our folks to take us!

It was so good!

The drive-in was a cool experience.  If I remember right, we saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind at a drive-in.

Some of the scenes with UFO's blended so well with the starry night of being outdoors, it was magical!

I don't know if my love of the movie theater is in my blood, but my grandfather was a projectionist.

That must count for something!

Years ago, we were part of a church that purchased a movie theater!  A church, in a movie theater!

I enjoyed poking around the building and discovering new things.  I hung out in the projection room!

Good times!

Lately though, the thrill is gone.

To go see a movie is a downer for me.  I don't like trying to get there on time, the parking, the high price of food, the other people in the theater that kick my seat, the cell phone glare, the ads at the beginning of the show, the endless trailers...etc.

I would rather stay home.  (I may just be getting old and grumpy!)

It's been a dismal year for the cinemas, and I can see why from one perspective.

The entertainment experience ain't what it used to be.

Movies are just "a thing to do" rather than a special night out.

I get the feeling sometimes that no one really cares what they are watching.

It's just another YouTube video on a huge screen to be distracted from when a text from your friend pops up.

You're paying good money for this, pay attention!

Because I work in media, I have been to a couple of press screenings for upcoming movies.

It's a great crowd because everyone has a purpose for being there.

There's focus.  (Little movie pun there, sorry.)

The level of engagement is higher because, you will be asked for a response following the feature.

I call this active entertainment, not passive.  It's more fun!

Ya sure, you need a romantic comedy once in a while to go on a first date with someone, but it should lead to a discussion of WHY the lead character needs that hot guy to give her all that attention, just to discover the nerd REALLY loves her for who she is.

This would be more constructive.  Maybe relationships would be more clear.  No more "I can't tell if he's into me."  Let the movie do all the heavy lifting!

My point is, it's not just mindless viewing folks!

I'm not sure what the answer is for getting people back to the movies, but I for one would like to have that excitement again.

What's the answer?

Outrageously high ticket prices, to weed out the crowd that will update Facebook during a pivotal battle scene?

Members only subscriptions?

You tell me!

I want to feel the magic again!




Monday, August 28, 2017

Dead On!


OK, I think about death sometimes.  I know you have also.  I think it's a bit scary.

We should all be sat down at the beginning of our lives, as soon as we can understand words, and it should be explained to us that people die.  Animals die.  They cease to live and don't offer us love and conversation any further.  We take their remains and either burn it or bury it in an expensive box.

We will all be dead longer than we will be alive.  It's just a fact. 

Why don't we make "the talk" with our kids not about sex, but about what's the deal with death?
I have a lingering fear of crossing over.  What will it be like?

What if it's awesome?  What if it's painful?

We have some comforting words from the scriptures, if you choose to take them to heart.

Death is like falling asleep.

I'm GOOD at that! I fall asleep every night! I have tons of practice!

It should be no problem.


Knowing that death is inevitable, I like to keep that fact in mind during my everyday life and decisions.


I'm not good at THAT, though.


I should be nicer to people in traffic, I should be nicer to my wife. Time is limited.


Ever see someone who has had a terminal diagnosis? Ever see the smile on their face?


They choose to enjoy the time they have left because the clock is ticking!


You know what, my clock is ticking to. So is yours.


Life is terminal. We should all have amazing grins and positive attitudes!


We GET to spend time alive.


It may not seem like a blessing, but dig deeper. Life has meaning in the living of it, not the endurance.


Smile, forgive, laugh.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Rains, Pains and Stains



The Gales before and after Tough Mudder Half.
Family can be messy.
Family can be painful.
Family can test your limits.
Family can force you to go outside what you are comfortable with.
Family can leave you exhausted.
Family can be full of obstacles to overcome.
Family is full of unique challenges.
Family can be sticky.

Family can also be the most fun and rewarding thing you ever get involved with!

All these things also describe an event called Tough Mudder!

Add Tough Mudder to a family and you've either got a recipe for disaster or you've got something...AWESOME!

Back in January I had a bright idea.  I don't have many, but this one seemed like a winner.

I asked Rose, my wife, "Why don't we do something REALLY challenging?"

"Why don't we do a 5K run?"

I was asking this because I have been on a "journey" to lose excess weight and be healthy.

Since May of 2016 I have lost about 60lbs and I feel great!

The thing about achieving a goal like that is, you need to keep challenging yourself, or else you don't have a reason to stay in shape and be active.

This is where the running idea came in.

Rose and I signed up for the Oasis Zoo Run.  It's at the Toronto Zoo and it's an EASY 5K.  (lol)

I say easy, cause no one is going to scold you for walking if you get really tired.

On top of that, we bought our own finishing medals, so we win either way.

If you know the Toronto Zoo at all, you know it's a challenge just to walk through on a good day.

So that was a done deal.  We signed up, paid the fee, and we are gonna do it.

Then the idea hit me.  Why not do a crazy one.  Something that will be REAL HARD!

Tough Mudder!  Rose got real excited about this one!  She loves a good challenge!

OK, cool...then how about we do it as a family?  Let's get the kids on board!

Check!  All of them ended up registered and we awaited the day!

I was nervous.

The excitement of committing to do the thing was cool, but now, you have to DO IT!

If you have ever seen pictures of this particular event, you know it looks difficult!

The cool thing about Tough Mudder is, they put up YouTube videos to help you train!

We signed up for the Half.  It's pretty self explanatory.  I did not want to go too crazy right away!

Rose and I did the workouts in the videos, plus biking and walking.

Then August arrives.  The event is soon.  Were we ready?  Were the kids ready?

We hoped we would not fail!

The Friday before the event, all the kids arrived.  The weather forecast said...rain!

What?  Now the crazy has gone up a level!

We got to Mount St. Louis Moonstone and , yes it rained.  Not a lot, but enough.

We started the course and right away I knew the biggest obstacle on this course would not be a wooden wall or a mud pit...it was the hills!

Mount St. Louis is a ski resort!  Most of the challenges were on top of the mountains!

Not all of us found it easy to trek up those slopes, but we stuck together and did all the challenges as a team!  We helped each other over walls, under nets, through water and up the hills.

We did it!  I am so proud of everyone!  Rose, Alex, Vicki and Jasmine, you guys ROCK!

Family should stick together, even if it takes mud to do it!



Now...bring on the Zoo!











Blank Stares and Dirt

 

Let's go back in time, shall we.

Whizzapp! (That's the sound of time travel. Look it up in the future.)

You open your eyes and you find yourself in Israel at the time of Jesus!

The wind blows softly on the side of a mountain near Capernaum, where you are among the crowd of people gathered to hear Him speak.

You breathe it in and notice It has a freshness that seems to fill you and everyone else with hope.

There are two reasons for this.

First, the sea is nearby!

The mixture of the scent of mountain grass combined with the salty water gives you a sense of optimism.

(Seaside towns always have a work hard, play hard kind of feel!)

The second reason you feel so hopeful and expectant is the most important.

The very air you are breathing is the same air that, in just moments, will be inhaled by the one called Messiah!

He is about to take in the same oxygen you both share and use it to vibrate His vocal cords in a way that will affect mankind for centuries!

His teaching will be so important that He spent 40 days in a wilderness alone just to pray and get ready to deliver it.

His words on this day will have so great an impact, that even the enemy, the top bad guy, the lowest of the low, Satan himself will do anything he can to throw Him off His game!


It all worked out in the end. Satan took a hike and Jesus was able to get back to civilization and choose 12 teaching assistants.

Everything seems ready. He has prepared so much for this very moment! Here we go!

Jesus speaks. It's wonderful!

Such wisdom! "Blessed are the poor in spirit!" "Love your enemies!" The Lord's prayer!

Great stuff!


Then you look around. The crowd is dead still. You notice the look on their faces.

You expect to see big smiles, dropped jaws, wide eyed amazement.

But you don't.

You see blank stares.

Some people even look a bit angry.

One guy is looking at the ground!

What is going on? Is anybody listening? You are a bit angry!

Come on people...do you know what you have here? We should be clapping and shouting loud "Amen's"!

Here's a little secret I have come to learn about people and still struggle to put into practice.

When you are speaking to someone, it doesn't matter if you are a server at Tim Horton's or a politician...

...people seem to always have a WEIRD LOOK on their face when they are listening to you!

I believe even the Lord Jesus looked out into a sea of faces that were seriously lacking in any kind of discernible expression. What do you do?

Don't be fooled by it! I believe that when the brain is engaged, the face turns off.

It's like it just disconnects and leaves all the muscles that should make you look happy and excited to just go limp.

If you have ever seen pictures of yourself in a crowd, you know what I mean.

You know what, it's OK! Don't worry about it! It's a good thing!


As someone who speaks in front of people often, it would be nice, but impractical, for the whole audience to be given one of those crazy "V for Vendetta" masks so I could be comfortable with his delivery.

Speaking in front of an audience is not an exercise in judging people's reactions, at least it shouldn't be.

I get a little annoyed when a speaker constantly needs feedback from the crowd.

"You are here give something to us, we are not here to make YOU feel good!"

Jesus was not like this, we know. He had no ego to bruise if no one shouted an amen.

I think there is so much going on in the heart of the listener, that all other bodily functions go into suspended animation. It's like hitting pause during the movie of your life.

To make this even clearer, I think about the story Jesus told about the sower.

In those days you had to fling your seeds far and wide in order to get the most return on your crops.

If you read it for yourself, you will discover there were a variety of results depending on where thew seeds landed. That's a whole other topic, but for now let's just imagine a perfect scenario.

The seed hit good ground, went deep and has all it needs to grow. Mission accomplished!

Now all the cool stuff happens underground!

We can't see it! The ground is the blank stare that Jesus must have encountered on the hill that day.

Underneath the cold, dark land, something pretty amazing is happening.

Dirt and chemicals are all mixing in a glorious miracle!

In time, we will all see the result, but for a while all we get is the stark barrenness of a patch of empty space.

That empty space is where there is going to be a fabulous work of art.

It may take a few days, a few years or even a few decades!

We are not in control at that point!

Even Jesus knew it. He must have, because we are still talking about the words he spoke.

It's been a couple millennia since the seeds were planted and the fruit continues!

Those stares must have been pretty vacant because the Good Seed was planted down deep in the soul!

Don't be turned off by a blank stare, if you've got good stuff to say, go ahead and speak!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Interesting...

Spock, investigating the latest trendy fashion on Vulcan...

Mr. Spock used to say "Fascinating" a lot.

He was a non-human who would look at us humans and being amazed by us.

I, to, find certain things about us fascinating.

Like, why is it that some things grab the interest of one person, yet the next guy finds it boring?

If we are all members of the same big ole family, we should all be locked into the same things.

Star Trek is a good example. I like it, but my wife could take it or leave it.

She could live her life just fine never knowing what maximum warp is.

On the other hand, I do not care about chintz teacups. Not one little bit.

Should I?

I remember one kid I saw on TV who was obsessed with vacuum cleaners.

He could tell you the year, make and model of any particular floor sucker.

Crazy!

If you think about your particular obsession, you have to admit that someone introduced you to it.

At some point, there was that one friend who said "Hey, try this!".

I knew a guy years ago who would get obsessed with a new thing every year!

At first it was scuba diving, then it was astronomy, then it was building computers!

Pick one!  Find a campground and set up a tent already!

That's what's even stranger. How things of interest come and go.

I guess those are called fads.

Fads are like markers in history. You can find out how old someone is when you ask them about things like hula hoops, Tamagotchi or fidget spinners.

Sometimes people get stuck in fads and never get out.

Their interest is cemented in that one thing and till the day they die, they will cling to it.

Certain hairstyles come to mind!  (How about the mullet?)

I hope you have found this blog to be interesting!

Live long and prosper. (It's from Star Trek.)








Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sorry For The Healthy Choices!




At the bottom of this blog there is a link to a story that I found interesting for an odd reason.

The article talks about how airline attendants secretly hope you don't ask them for a Diet Coke when they come around with the refreshment cart during a flight.  According to one attendant, the beverage is extra fizzy due to the pressurization of the cabin and it slows the whole serving process down because they have to wait for it to calm down before they can pour it and give you the cup.

The guy said he didn't want to make a big deal out of it, it was just a thing they often deal with.

The fact that it's even mentioned caught my ear and I thought, wait a minute, I see a pattern here! 

About a year ago, I weighed over 220lbs.  As of today I am 164.  (Insert applause.)

Thank you.

In order to do something like that, a few people had to be slightly inconvenienced.

For starters, my wife had to get up a bit earlier to drive me work so I could walk home!  (Burns about 250 calories by the way.)

I think of the people who order food in restaurants that have special details they want. (Gluten free...etc)

Being a bit more aware of our health takes a little extra time.

Diet Coke is not a fantastically healthy drink, but just the fact that there is way less sugar, makes it a bit better choice than regular Coke, and that's a start for someone.

So if it takes a little extra time...that's OK.  Most of have time we waste anyway.

http://www.today.com/food/why-flight-attendants-hate-when-you-order-diet-coke-t114567

Monday, July 31, 2017

Fake Fear



So here's a crazy story I ran across...

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WOMAN CALLED FOR HELP WITH PLASTIC SPIDER _ A terrified woman in the UK called for help after finding a tarantula the "size of her hand" in a cabinet in her home. When help arrived they found the eight-legged creature was a plastic toy.

I dug a little deeper into the story and found out that this woman called the UK equivalent of 911.

She had emergency responders at her house along with friends and family, all to find out that the thing she feared was a toy.

Some of the things we fear the most are not even real.

I've been scared of toys, but for different reasons.

I used to hate those trolls. The ones with the big eyes and freaky curl in their hair.  

There was just a movie made with them in it.

UGLY!

For some reason I was terrified of them.  

I remember having dreams where they would come alive and chase me!  

I found one in a toy box once, and ran away crying!  It was JUST A TOY!


This was the spider that caused the 911 call!

The toy the woman was afraid of was just a toy, but it looked REAL!  It looked like a spider!

The toy I was afraid of didn't look like anything familiar to this world!  I admit, I'm odd.

Here's what I find interesting about this lady...

She was already afraid of spiders.  Really afraid.

When even a hint of a spider showed up, she FREAKED!  Fear controlled her!

She was ready at a moments notice to become unglued when a spider came anywhere near her!

I think this applies to us in an important way.

You may have a fear of something.  Let's say for example, cancer or a heart attack.

If this fear rules your life in those areas, it becomes evident when you have a little ache or pain.

It could be a heart attack!  It could be cancer!  I need to see the doctor NOW!

You call emergency services, call a friend, call you sister!  

It could be you have a fear that a spouse will be unfaithful.

Each time they talk to someone from the opposite sex, you question all their motives!

"I was just asking for directions...honest!"

It does not matter, fear says you were flirting!  "You don't love me!"

See how this thing creeps into your life and builds a web just like a REAL spider?

Just like a web, you can get stuck in it and never get free!

What's the answer?

Ever see the acronym for fear?  False Evidence Appearing Real!  

Most of the stuff we fear, isn't even real, just like the toy spider.  

It's a waste of time to think about them.  It's a waste time for the people close to you as well!

They have to constantly assure you that it's a TOY!  Plastic, fake...harmless.

Don't let false fear steal any time from you!

Now...about that Tickle Me Elmo.  THAT'S SCARY!!






Thursday, July 27, 2017

Friends are a Gamble


If you are about my age you may remember a song by Michael W. Smith called "Friends".

As a new Christian in my late teens just getting into gospel music, I really liked the song because it had aspects of Christianity and real life heartache.  I think the heartache part hit me the most, cause it was sort of a happy/sad song.  It was about people staying connected even though they may be apart, the common thread between them being God.

The lyric is "Friends are friends forever, if the Lord's the Lord of them..."  Those words meant a lot to me because at one point I went through breaking up with a girl who was also a Christian, and having to deal with still going to the same school and having the same social circle.

How do you handle that?  If we are all Christians we should all be able to move on with our lives right?  No.  It was super awkward and I searched for a way to make sense of it through the song.  (I even read the lyrics over the school PA, that's another story...)

Being a teenager in the 80's you didn't have things like Facebook to be able to keep relationships going even when you got separated from your buddies.  If you were fairly literate, you could write letters, or if you had no knack for paper and pen, you could just pick up the phone and call, but even then, things were never the same.

When you made a friend there was always a chance that friend could move away.  My best buddy moved away after grade 9 and I was sad.  We were pretty inseparable.  We would do crazy things like shoot each other with pellet guns by the railroad tracks!  I miss those days, but not the bruises!

My point is this, getting and having friends is a risk.

You have no guarantees that they will always be around.  You don't know if they will let you down when you need them most.  You don't know if they will tell you what you need to hear when you need to hear it.  It's always a risk.

But with the biggest risks come the biggest rewards.

I saw an internet hoax recently where members of Facebook were warned to not "friend" someone named Jayden K. Smith.  The threat was that "Jayden" would hack your information and do terrible things with it!

First of all, I'm pretty sure that can't happen through Facebook.  The worst someone could do would be to bother you with constant requests to play games!

Secondly, it got me thinking about real world friends.  What if the Facebook scenario played out in real life?

What if you wanted to make friends and you couldn't because there was a rumor going around that you were a thief and will steal from anyone you get close to?  What if you were the subject of a campaign to tell the whole world wide web about how bad you are?  What could you do?

It would be tough to find a friend in that atmosphere!

Think about this for a second.  In the bible, Jesus picked out 12 guys to be his "learners".  The old school name is disciples.  After 3 years with them He said in John 15:15 (That's easy to remember!) that He now called them friends.

It's interesting because He knew that every one of them would turn their back on Him when He was at His worst moment!  He even told them it would happen!

Jesus never thought it wasn't worth the risk.  He believed in friendship.

I want to be a better friend.

I think of the people that I have encountered and how they were good friends and I wasn't.

I think about how even now there are friends I have now that I can't seem to talk to about things I should.

I think of people I wish I could be friends with, but their personality forbids it!  They are best left alone.

Relationships can be challenge, but I think ultimately they are worth it.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Prayin'


The chances of finding someone who does not know what the "Lords Prayer" is are high.
It's very well known all over the world. 


You know it by heart, right?  Why is that? 

"Because it's written in the bible!" you might say. 

Well I have something else for you to consider... 

We know that wonderful prayer because someone asked

Jesus was praying as he usually did, and one of the guys said, hey can you teach us that? 

There was no formal introductory prayer class. 

Maybe Jesus would not have ever said anything about what He was doing if no one was interested.

We don't even know who it was who asked! 

We have the Lord's prayer today because somebody asked a question. 

Always ask questions.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Think about it, won't you? Thank you.




Ever think about what you're thinking about?

If you can do that, then you have an advantage in life you may not be aware of.

You can change your thoughts and then change your life.

I believe that mind reading is a myth.  I do not think people are clairvoyant.  

I'm sorry if you have paid money to a medium or psychic.  You can't get a refund.

The only person in your head is you.  The door to your brain is closed unless you open your mouth.

I can't tell what you're thinking.  Which leads me to say this...

Thoughts are private for a reason.

Your thinking is lightning fast, random and complex all at the same time.

If anyone were to hear your thoughts it would probably drive them insane!

Why are we given this ability to hear our own voice and the voice of others in our heads?

No one else can hear it but us. 

People may be able to read our thoughts based on the look on our faces but not normally. 

You just may have a permanently confused look!

Our brains are the buffers for what we say. 

There is a scripture that says be slow to speak.

Our thoughts then are not who we are, they are only what we could become.
You can choose your thoughts.

 If you don't choose them, there are other forces who want to choose them for you.

Advertisers are a good example. 

If they can choose your thoughts, they can manipulate your lifestyle.

You end up asking yourself "Why am I really eating Skittles?"

In the movie, inception, they tried to plant an idea thought deep within someones mind.  It worked.

Co-dependent relationships can fertile ground for this. A narcissist can take full advantage.

Your thoughts are just lines of words or ideas, they won't become real unless you dwell on them.

They shape who you are and what you do.

I don't want to know what's going on in your head. It would scare me and everyone else on the planet.
We may even lock you up.
BUT
Those thoughts can be changed. That's what the word repentance means. 

It's common to think that when you hear the word repent, it means that you have to change your behavior.

It goes deeper! 

 Change the way you think, behavior will follow. 

 Behavioral change is not the end goal of living as a Christian anyway. 

 Any animal can be trained to do tricks.  We want a quality of life!

Try thinking about what you're thinking about...and that's a first step to change.

Monday, June 19, 2017

WONDERJAM!



For King and Country LIVE at Wonderjam 2017!

Part of my job at LIFE is to represent the station at big Christian events.

To me, this is a thrill!

Me and Steve Bradley onstage at Wonderjam!


I love being able to go onstage somewhere and talk about what we do and invite people to listen.

I get excited about Christian radio and I hope the audience feels that!

We were part of Wonderjam at Canada's Wonderland again this year and we got prime stage time!

We got to go on before the main band, Skillet, to announce our upcoming Fall contest!

We also got to toss out a few LIFE t-shirts to the hungry crowd!

I have heard that as many as 4000 people check out the concerts during the event.

Skillet! Shot from backstage!

Skillet, rocking Wonderjam!

Steve Bradley, Jon Cooper, Me, Sam and Josiah the shutterbug!

It's a very weird experience to be backstage when a MAJOR band is getting ready to go onstage.

All the stage technicians have their various jobs to do to make the show happen.

To the lay person, they can seen a bit grumpy.

I'm there to do a job and try and stay out of THEIR way!  It's really awkward...but fun!

The music sounds way different from the rear of the venue!

The guys from Skillet were super chill and snapped a pic with us before they went onstage!

My ears still hurt...


Monday, June 12, 2017

Time




A show I enjoy watching is Doctor Who.

It's the adventures of a man who can zip about through time in a spaceship.

He has amazing adventures and usually takes along a companion or two.

Here's the thing about the show I love and hate.

Time travel is a myth.

I believe we can't do it.

I want it to be true, but in my heart I know it's just a a fantasy that allows the story tellers to create a
world where almost anything can happen.

Why do I think time travel is a myth?

Because no one has come back from the future to tell us it's possible!

(It could also be because the "future people" don't want us to know.)

I read a quote recently that left me thinking about time.

It says that "the evidence for the concept of time is circumstantial".

I think it means that we see what "looks like" the passage of time, but it's really the effect of decision being made in the now.

We are "old" only because we are experiencing the effects of a daily routine of decisions and natural occurrences.

We only posses the present moment.

"What about prophecy?"

Good question!

I think the same principle applies.

Because of a decision made, only one outcome can occur.

God sees the end from the beginning because He's smarter than we are.

He lets us have a peek once in a while.

What do you think?

Monday, June 5, 2017

How To Get Past A Problem. (Usually)


I'm reading a book about life.

No, it's not the bible.

It's by someone I won't mention.  It's not important.

What IS important is what the person was saying about moving forward in life.

If I asked you to name something that is a wall in your life, would you know what I mean?

A wall can be something like personal debt.  It stops you from moving ahead with financial goals.

A wall can be a past hurt.  It seemingly stops you from getting really intimate with anyone.

A wall can be a difficult person.  They seem to be standing in your way, keeping you from advancing.

A wall is something that stops you, puts a boundary on you or limits you.



What if that disappeared TODAY?  What would you be doing?

Here is a cool story from the bible.

There was a man who could not walk.  He would lay by a pool and wait for the water to move.

He never got in.  He blamed others.  Someone else beat him to the water.  ALWAYS!

Jesus came along and asked him if he wanted to be haeled.  It should have been obvious right?

The first thing he started talking about were the excuses why he could not be healed.

Is that you?  Are the excuses your first defense?

If things are not the way you think they should be, is it other peoples fault?

Do you even have a plan beyond the walls of your self imposed limitations?

Jesus took care of the man right there.  POOF!  Problem solved.

NOW WHAT?

Now he has the rest of his life to enjoy!

If your debt, hurt or annoying person were to suddenly become not an issue, what would you do?

Do you even really WANT your walls to be torn down?

Here is the danger we can fall into sometimes.  We make our problems part of who we are.

Our issues can become our crutch.  A way we get sympathy and attention.  Find identity.

The problem is, what if those problems were taken out of the picture?

Who are you then?

Problems are things that happen TO us.  They are NOT us.

I don't know what it might be for you, but I do know that if you're going to move forward into new areas of life, you got figure out what you want and hack away at the excuses!

Live it!




Monday, May 15, 2017

Accepted!


I think one of the real indicators of where you are in your faith is where you get your sense of self worth.

When you really believe in God, you have to trust Him.

One of the things we have to trust Him about is that He accepts us.

If God to you is just a good idea, or a by-product of our brains evolving or a comforting notion, then you won't care what He thinks about you, and you will draw your self worth from other sources.  The trouble with that is that other sources, including yourself are often flawed and come from a place of selfishness.

Here is an interesting scripture you can look up...


“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10 NIV).

I think I went for years and years, worried about what people thought of me.

I am sure a good therapist could figure out why.  One thing I do know is that it's no way to live.

We should care a little bit about what people think of us, but not to the degree that it takes over our lives.

I have discovered that when I am settled with what God thinks, I'm OK.  I can act.

Fear can dominate our thoughts when the most important thing in the world is to be liked, approved or accepted by others.

Think about how many decisions you have made out of fear of rejection.  Lot's right?

It's a basic human need, I get that.

It think that's why it's such a big thing in the bible.

Acceptance by God is one the main things we need to believe!

Try it!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Extra Grace Required



I have been stung by a devotional series from Rick Warren lately.

It's been about the subject of "Dealing with Difficult People"

For whatever reason, it seems I have encountered several of these types of folks and undoubtedly I have BEEN one!

I am a natural introvert and loner, so dealing with people at all is a draining experience for me.

I enjoy it, but I need frequent breaks just to recharge.

If you add to the mix a difficult person, well, you can see how that for someone like me, it can be easy to get thrown into great disarray!

You could define someone as "difficult" if they are overbearing, uncaring, narcissistic, selfish and rude.

Yup, I have been all those things!  (God help me!)

For me, it could also be someone who is none of those things, just a bit odd and hard to get to know.

What's difficult is getting to the core of who they are, so a real connection can happen.

I've been that person to!  (wow)

These devotionals have helped me a lot, and just so you know...it takes practice to love difficult people.

Here is Rick Warren's list of tips...

  1. Look at their behavior.
  2. Refuse to be offended.
  3. Cut them some slack.
  4. Refuse to gossip about them.
  5. Refuse to play their game.
  6. Always take the high ground.
I suggest you read each installment and let it sink in.

Here is the link.

I would love to hear your experiences.



Friday, April 14, 2017

Goals

I don't know if you have ever set a goal to change something about yourself and reached it.

If you have, you know that the feeling is pretty sweet.

If you have not, can I ask why?

There are likely a lot of factors but here are a few I think are the big ones...

1.  You settle for less.

It's easy to accept out shortcomings as "character traits".  We can rationalize our behavior by saying "that's the way I am, everyone else will just have to accept it."  True, the rest of the world has to take you as you are, but I believe as we become aware of things we can change and we don't take any action, the rest of the world does not owe you the time of day.

2.  The goals you think you would set are not realistic.

Is it hard to become an optimist when you are prone to pessimism?  Yes, if you think it has to happen overnight!  Can you be a little more optimistic everyday?  Yes!  Can you let go of a lifetime of anger in one day?  Not likely.  Can you think about the benefits of forgiveness for one minute right now!  Of course you can.  Small goals of change are the way to the big ones.

3.  You think you'll fail, so why try.

Of course you will fail.  You have to eliminate things that don't work.  A lot of thing about our lives that need changing have their own unique solution.  It's not going to happen unless you are willing to fail along with the rest of us.  No one will blame you for failure when you are working toward a goal. If you are willing to fail, you are willing to grow.

"For with God, nothing shall be impossible!"  Luke 1:37

Saturday, April 1, 2017

An Interesting Point of View

I have decided to post an article I read about the movie "Beauty and the Beast".  It's a live action adaptation of a Disney animated film that draws on a fairy tale...well you get the idea.

The article is by Phil Cooke, an expert in media and the Christian message.

Read and enjoy...

Leave a comment to.

What the Christian Critics Missed in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

There’s been a significant amount of criticism from some leaders in the Christian community over the gay-friendly aspects of the Walt Disney Studios live action feature “Beauty and the Beast.” By now you’ve heard about or seen the character LeFou who is infatuated with Gaston, and the musketeer who likes being dressed in a woman’s gown, so I don’t need to go into the details. Yes, we’re tired of Disney knocking themselves out to be politically correct in everything – particularly when it comes to historic and beloved stories like this. The pretension is just starting to get overwhelming.
But one thing I noticed in the movie was something the critics seemed to completely miss (or perhaps not care about.) That was the village pastor (or priest.) In the 1991 animated version, Belle gets her books from a book seller in the village. But in the live action version, that character has been changed to Père Robert, the village pastor, played by actor Ray Fearon.
He’s a minor character, but we discover it’s his church library where Belle gets her books. It’s obvious that she’s been there many times before because when she asks if he has any new books, he replies he hasn’t, but nevertheless she’s happy to re-read his old ones. A few scenes later, Père Robert helps Belle pick up her laundry off the ground, which some of the more crude villagers have thrown on the street because of her reading habits.
He’s also at the tavern when Maurice (Belle’s father) accuses Gaston of trying to kill him. Then, when Gaston arranges for Maurice to be taken to an asylum, it was Père Robert that pleads for them to take him to a hospital rather than a mental institution. In other places, the pastor doesn’t speak, but his facial expressions tell us about what needs to be done.
I say all this because granted, here’s a movie with some issues for Christians, however not one review (to my knowledge) has pointed out that the same studio changed the character of the book seller into a Christian pastor, made him the most loving person in the village to Belle, and then provided the moral compass when the villagers lost theirs.
Rather than boycotting, criticizing, or being offended about the gay issues (after all, do we really expect a for-profit secular studio to follow Biblical guidelines when making their movies?) I prefer to celebrate Disney’s decision to put a pastor as the moral center, the friend, and the servant leader to the rest of the characters in the film.
Bravo to the creative team.
I seem to recall something about lighting a candle instead of cursing the darkness…
Link to the full article and more from Phil... http://www.philcooke.com/what-the-christian-critics-missed-in-disneys-beauty-and-the-beast/

Monday, March 13, 2017

It Hurts

Why do we exercise?  Why do we eat right?

For the benefits.  The benefits only come through the uncomfortable moments.

I hate that and so do you.

I don't like doing sit ups or walking more or riding a stationary bike for an hour.

I DO like being able to fit into my clothes and having more energy.

That makes me happy.

The weird part of life is that you have to do unhappy things to be happy.

I want to share this video with you.

It's inspirational.  It has Arnold the Terminator in it.

I think you'll get some important lessons out of it.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

Curiosity.




Here's some things that Jesus never said.

"Like me on Facebook and I'll send a blessing your way."

Nope, never said it.  (I looked.)

He didn't say this either...""I just got a great deal on car insurance!"

They did not have cars back then!  They had donkeys and camels!

Both of which stunk badly but were great modes of transportation!

I'm pretty sure insurance companies did not exist then either.

Here's the BIG one I want to focus on...

Jesus never said "You guys ask too many questions."

Jesus never once brushed off anyone who had an honest question.

They all walked away with a response.

It may not often have been the one they were looking for, (It often wasn't.) but it was an answer.

Jesus wasn't arrogant or narcissistic.

He was here on the earth to give His life for US, and He did just that.

Curiosity is built into us, if it wasn't, we would not have ever done things like go to the moon.

We would have never discovered electricity, sailed the oceans or created Caramilk Bars.

We ask questions, we desire knowledge, we want answers.

It's OK to ask questions.  It's OK to question why things happen.

There was only one time I saw in scripture where Jesus gave a non-answer.

The guys asked him about the restoration of the nation of Israel.

Acts 1:7 - It's not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.

Ummm...OK.

Can you give us a hint?

He did!  There are all kinds, but that's another topic.

Keep asking questions.  Trust God will give you the answers.

PEACE





Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Now Things Are Getting Weird...




In May of 2015 I made a decision to get my health in order.

I looked at my physique and was dissatisfied with what I saw.

I took action in the form of riding my bike and eating less.

As the results started to become evident, I got more excited about what I was doing.

I increased the amount of physical activity I did and paid closer attention to my food intake.

It's 2017 and I am really close to my goal weight and fitness level.

I have lost almost 50lbs and I feel great.

You would think that I would be satisfied...but no!

Something crazy is happening to me!

I have signed up for two fitness events this year!

My wife and I are doing the Toronto Zoo 5k run in September!

In August...get this...we are doing Tough Mudder in Coldwater!

My son and daughter are going to join us!

This is getting crazy!  I never dreamed I would do things like this!

Be aware that when you set goals and move towards them, many other things begin to happen!

I hope I survive!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Work At It



I have been thinking a lot lately about the subject of work.

We all have to work at something.

You work everyday weather you think you are or not.  The issue is do you LIKE what you do?

I think of people that live a life of crime.  They do what they do to avoid the things they HAVE to do.

There is no avoiding responsibility in life.  You have to realize that there are no free rides.

It's you against everyone else.

I have heard it said that if you don't have a plan for your life, some one else does.

It's so true.

You are just a commodity to the world at large.

You life can only realistically matter to a certain amount of people.

God gives greater influence to some people who can be trusted with it.

Not everyone can handle fame.

I was thinking about work because I had the idea that ALL work will yield results.

Hard work ALWAYS pays off.  Therefore, it's important what you expend your energy doing.

Work at developing your character.  That will take you far in life.

Work at keeping your friends.  They are a worth the investment, we need friends.

Work at improving your understanding of the world.  Ignorance sucks.

Work at knowing personality types.  You can avoid unnecessary conflict and heartache.

Work at understanding money.  Poverty sucks.

Work at pushing yourself further.  Being comfortable should only last a little while.

Finally, work at love.  It's never what you think it is.  It's better.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Thingy


Have you ever wondered why God has so many names?

Seriously, if you study the bible you know that God himself has many different titles.

That would drive me crazy if it was me!  One name is enough, thank you!

I think I may know why this is so.

When you need something to complete a task, but forget what the name of it is, what do you do?

You say to your assistant (if you have one) "Pass me that thingy."

Other names are "whatchamacallit" "widget" and "whoozit".

If you want the translation, it's roughly "Get me the object that gets the job done in the best way possible".

The project will be stalled until the item is delivered to your eagerly awaiting hand.

We know we need something, but we are not always sure what the thing is.

God's names are like that.

We need a Savior.  His name is Jesus.

We need a provider, he has a Hebrew name for that.  (I can't spell or say it properly so I won't bother trying to impress you!)

He is what you need.  He has a name for it.

All you have to do is hold out your hand and ask...